Counting from Zero | Alan B. Johnston

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    Counting from Zero

    Counting from Zero

    A novel

    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.

    Available now in Paperback at Amazon and Barnes & Noble!

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    Press Release: How much longer can the Internet survive attacks from Botnets? February 28, 2011