Skip to main content

Book Review: Counting from Zero by Alan B. Johnston


Mick O'Malley is an expert in computer security. Some would say he's a bit over-the-top when it comes to his own security and privacy. But there are many threats out there, and he is determined to keep his own information secure. So when Mick uncovers the potential threat of a massive zero day attack by a huge botnet, he takes on the challenge of stopping it before it's too late.

In Counting from Zero, Alan B. Johnston throws us into the world of computer security through the eyes of one man whose expertise seems beyond compare. There are many other characters along the way, including a Russian firewall expert with whom he develops a close relationship, a few interesting colleagues, and his sister and niece who provide a bit of a personal story to offset the technical. But this story is really about Mick and his personal mission to stop the botnet from initiating a catastrophic attack.

Unfortunately, this was a tough read for me because of the technical details that Johnston included. He talks about spam and peer-to-peer systems and worms and of course botnets. While he explain these things rather well, mostly through fictional blog posts that separate the different chapters, there's a bit too much detail for me. Counting from Zero often reads like a nonfiction book about computer security ~ and at times about motorcycles and World War II, which are two of Mick's passions. I tend to prefer simpler descriptions over lengthy details.

I think this book would appeal more to those who have a strong interest in learning about internet security through a fictional story rather than a technical manual, and those who work in security fields who can relate more to Mick and the other characters.

My Rating 2/5

Visit the Counting from Zero website for more information and to read an excerpt.

This review was written based on a copy of Counting from Zero that I received from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Banned Books Week: Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park

This is the end of Banned Books Week and unfortunately, I haven't had a lot of time to write about banned books this year. But I did want to include at least one post about it, so today I wanted to share one of the book series that it seems most people are surprised to find on the list: Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park.

According to Wikipedia:
The Junie B. Jones series came in at #71 on the American Library Association's list of the Top 100 Banned or Challenged Books from 2000-2009. Reasons cited are poor social values taught by the books and Junie B. Jones not being considered a good role model due to her mouthiness and bad spelling/grammar. This is an interesting example of a banned book. Many times there are serious, controversial topics featured in books that are challenged. Things like homosexuality, drugs, vulgar language, etc. You can actually understand why people may not want their children to read those books, and why they may challenge their inclusion in school libra…

April Reading Review

Where exactly did April go? I swear it was just the middle of March and now it's May. Once again, I'm going to provide a quick review of each of the books I read last month. For the last two weeks of the month, I participated in the Spring Into Horror Readathon hosted by Michelle at Seasons of Reading. The only rule was that you had to read at least one book that was horror, thriller, etc. I read one book that qualified. With the exception of the first book in my list, the books I mention below were read during the readathon


My book club's May selection was Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. I had started reading this nonfiction book about the author's work representing men, women and children who were on death row in March but finished the book in April. This is an eye-opening story that everyone at my book club discussion agreed should be required reading for law schools and police officers and even legislators who are making the laws related to judgements. I learned to…

Getting back to blogging

It seems that blogging has dropped to the bottom of my list for the past year, and was pretty low for the year or two prior to that. I love to read, and am continuing to do so, but as my regular readers know I haven't been around much. My last blog post was almost a year ago!!

There are many things that have taken me away from blogging. Work has been much more challenging and interesting these past few years, but that means I really don't want to get back on the computer when I get home at night - or on the weekends.

Family life has been more busy with kids having multiple activities in the evenings, leaving little time to just hang out and write about the books that I read.

I will admit to a bit of a Facebook addiction, which means way too much time spent scrolling through my newsfeed instead of doing something more productive. This is one of the things I'm working on and hoping that this will free up some time for getting back to the blog.

Overall, life is good. Work is …