Operation Desolation

2012-10-10

Paul Baccas

Sophos, UK
Editor: Helen Martin

Abstract

Paul Baccas reviews a short story by Windows systems internals expert and Microsoft Technical Fellow, Mark Russinovich: Operation Desolation.


Title: Operation Desolation: The Case of the Anonymous Bank Defacement

Author: Mark Russinovich

Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books

ASIN: B0080K37P2

This short story is set in Las Vegas at ‘CyberCon’, a conference hosted by a fictional security training and consulting company and sponsored by a major US Department of Defense contractor. We see the return of the hero of Russinovich's first novel, Zero Day, the cyber maven Jeff Aiken, with passing appearances from Daryl Haugen. In the story, Daryl has left her job at the National Security Agency and joined Jeff in a professional and personal partnership. The events take place in the two-year period between Zero Day and the author's latest novel, Trojan Horse.

The story attempts to tackle a number of newsworthy issues: the banking crisis, hacktivism and the Anonymous group. The issues are covered in rather broad brush strokes – and if we believe that the author has followed the tip ‘write about what you know’, one might conclude that he had been burned in the banking crisis.

A nice touch is that there is a teaser in this story for Trojan Horse, in that there is mention of the Android vulnerability that is crucial to its plot.

Operation Desolation is another dynamic and engaging story from Russinovich – once started, it is hard to put down.

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