Counting from Zero | Alan B. Johnston
Counting from Zero
Can a security expert save the Internet from a catastrophic zero day cyber attack by a network of zombie computers, known as a botnet? At what cost? Unfolding across three continents, this novel written by an Internet expert gives a realistic insider's view of the thrust and parry world of computer security and cryptography, and the very real threat of botnets.
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“Credible and believable, this story is told by a subject matter expert. I could not wait to find out what happened next.”
- Vint Cerf, Internet pioneer
“The threat to the Internet from worms, viruses, botnets, and zombie computers is real, and growing. Counting from Zero is a great way to come up to speed on the alarming state of affairs, and Johnston draws you in with his story and believable cast of characters.”
- Phil Zimmermann, creator of Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) the most widely used email encryption program
“Counting from Zero brings Dashiell Hammet and Raymond Chandler into the computer age.”
- Diana Lutz
Counting from Zero
Can one man prevent a global Internet Armageddon? At what personal cost?
Today, every computer connected to the Internet is under constant attack from viruses, worms, port scans, and spam. Security professionals continually fight to contain newly unleashed cyber attacks, known as zero day attacks, only to have new attacks launched. Millions of computers have already succumbed, and, without their owner's knowledge, have become slave computers - remotely controlled zombies. Under the control of organized crime and backed by foreign governments, these computers are morphing into collections known in the industry as botnets, short for robot networks.
With today's Internet-based electronic commerce and banking, and global markets and supply chain management, a worldwide Internet collapse would be catastrophic, likely plunging us into an economic depression. Against this backdrop, the action in Counting from Zero unfolds.
Internet security expert Mick O'Malley is the only one who recognizes the growing threat of the ultimate zero day attack on the Internet from a massive botnet. His unique hacker skills and network of friends enable him to fight back, breaking the encryption used by the botnet. More cyber prep than cyber punk, Mick uses real-life tools and techniques to encrypt all his communications. Mick uses encryption on a personal level, too, having multiple passports and multiple names and identities. While crisscrossing the globe in the air, on land, and at sea investigating the threat, Mick becomes the target of attacks on his reputation, his identity, and ultimately his life.
Along the way, Mick meets Kateryna Petrescu, a beautiful Romanian firewall expert. Mick's attraction to Kateryna develops as they work closely together and share the excitement and danger. Why is the government following Mick and trying to intercept his communications? Can he stop the zero day attack before it is unleashed? What will be the cost to Mick for his single mindedness?
Unfolding across three continents, the novel Counting from Zero gives a realistic insider's view of the thrust and parry world of computer security and cryptography, and the very real threat of botnets.
Get it now on Amazon.
- Johnston, Alan B., Counting from Zero. 2011.
- Johnston, Alan B., Understanding the Session Initiation Protocol. 3rd Edition Norwood: Artech House, 2009.
- Sinnreich, Henry, and Alan B. Johnston, Internet Communications using SIP. 2nd Edition, New York: Wiley, 2006.
- Johnston, Alan B., and Dave Piscitello, Understanding Voice over IP Security. Norwood: Artech House, 2006.
- Sinnreich, Henry, Alan B. Johnston, and Robert J. Sparks, SIP Beyond VoIP. Melville: VON Publishing, 2005.
Alan B. Johnston
Dr. Alan B. Johnston is an expert in Internet communications, VoIP, and security and the author of four best selling technical books. He is an acknowledged expert in his field and has traveled the world speaking and lecturing to industry and governments. He has also co-authored with Phil Zimmermann ZRTP, the protocol used in the Zfone project for securing phone calls over the Internet, as described in Forbes Magazine and Wired Magazine articles.
Born in Melbourne, Australia, Alan immigrated to the United States at a young age. Alan has been programming computers since age thirteen when he helped his brother build one of the first microcomputers. He is an amateur radio operator, motorcycle rider, and sailor. He holds Bachelors and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering. Today, Alan works as a Distinguished Engineer for Avaya, Inc. and is an Adjunct Instructor at Washington University in St. Louis.
Alan is a Million Miler with American Airlines, and has traveled extensively and has friends all over the world. He uses VoIP and social media to keep in touch. He owns and rides a number of motorcycles, but no Ducatis. Alan lives in St. Louis, Missouri.
- Here is a PDF excerpt of Counting from Zero
- Most eBook retailers allow a free partial download of the book.
- "Computer expert struggles to foil massive Internet attack in new novel" by Diana Lutz, Washington University
- "If you enjoyed 7 Deadliest UC Attacks, you may also like the fiction book Counting From Zero by Dan York
- "You Gotta Read Review" by Val
- "Counting from Zero by Alan B Johnson" by The Book Faerie
- "Book Review: Counting from Zero" Paige Lucken's blogzine
- "A Book Geek: Counting from Zero" review by LLM
- My Book Retreat: Book Review: Counting from Zero by Alan B. Johnston
- The Book Diva's Reads: Book 171: COUNTING FROM ZERO Review
- All 45 reviews on Amazon
- All 29 reviews on Goodreads
- Read Alan's Blog
- My First Foray into Fiction
- The Path to Publication
- Books vs Bits
- Good Reading with Goodreads
- Anonymous and Operation Facebook
- Facebook page for Counting from Zero
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- Press Release: How much longer can the Internet survive attacks from Botnets? February 28, 2011
Social Media Sites:
- Free Software Foundation
- Electronic Frontier Foundation
- Center for Democracy and Technology
- The Internet Society
- GNU Privacy Guard
- The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography by Simon Singh
- The Art of Deception: Controlling the Human Element of Security by Kevin D. Mitnick and William L. Simon
- Practical Cryptography by Bruce Schneier
- Fatal System Error: The Hunt for the New Crime Lords Who Are Bringing Down the Internet by Joseph Menn