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  • And now for a different kind of 0day

    Any list of the ten smartest people in the computer biz today would have to include Mark Russinovitch.

    With technical street cred stretching from building Windows uber-utility Sysinternals, to discovery of the Sony Rootkit, to defining the Microsoft Technical Fellow position by example, Mark knows tech like you know your coffee cup.

    Add one more achievement to the list. He’s a hell of a good novelist. At least, I couldn’t stop myself scrolling through the posted excerpt from his first novel, Zero Day. (Warning: it reads like an explicit action-adventure novel.)

    Mark says he started working on the novel eight years ago, and it’s taken this long to get through the book-writing maze.

    From the cover:

    An airliner’s controls abruptly fail mid-flight over the Atlantic. An oil tanker runs aground in Japan when its navigational system suddenly stops dead. Hospitals everywhere have to abandon their computer databases when patients die after being administered incorrect dosages of their medicine. In the Midwest, a nuclear power plant nearly becomes the next Chernobyl when its cooling systems malfunction.

    At first, these random computer failures seem like unrelated events. But Jeff Aiken, a former government analyst who quit in disgust after witnessing the gross errors that led up to 9/11, thinks otherwise. Jeff fears a more serious attack targeting the United States computer infrastructure is already under way. And as other menacing computer malfunctions pop up around the world, some with deadly results, he realizes that there isn’t much time if he hopes to prevent an international catastrophe.

    Arabs in league with Al-Qaeda play the villains. They want to “wreak havoc” on the West “in a very cost-efficient way that’s low risk.” Cyber terrorism fits the description, eh?

    Okay, so it’s long on cliches and penny-pinching Al-Qaedites, but the excerpt moves right along. The lead blurb comes from a certain Mr. Gates. You may have heard of him, too.

    Look for Zero Day on store shelves in March. Or you can pre-order a copy through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or a handful of other bookstores.

    A quick check on the Amazon ordering page reveals that customers who bought Zero Day also bought a copy of the Windows 7 Professional Upgrade. Simple coincidence? I think not.