Six Years Ago

Six years ago I published my first novel, Counting from Zero.  Next month, on February 25, exactly six years ago to the day, the sequel, Returning to Zero, will be published.

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Returning to Zero continues the story of the Zed.Kicker botnet, and the efforts of white hat hacker Mick O’Malley and his friends to contain and destroy it.

A lot has changed in those six years, especially in internet security and privacy.

Six years ago, not to many people outside certain internet security areas had ever heard of a ‘botnet’, a robot network of compromised computers.  Botnets back then had tens of thousands of computers, which was why my fictional Zed.Kicker botnet with millions of devices was so powerful.  Today, there are many botnets with millions.

Six years ago, few also understood how dangerous a large botnet can be, with their distributed denial of service DDOS) attacks.  Botnets routinely launch attacks today.

Six years ago, only a paranoid few thought about pervasive surveillance, and the notion that without taking measures, all our activities online were being tracked and recorded by governments, our own and others.  In this post-Snowden era (three years ago, believe it or not), we know the extent and the invasiveness of the surveillance.  (Just for fun, here is a photo of me asking Edward Snowden a question via a WebRTC video link after a screening of CITIZEN FOUR at IETF-93).

CITIZENFOURandI.jpg

Six years ago, cybercrime was a rarity, including ransomware and  other threats.  Today is is unfortunately common.

Six years ago, many of us were concerned about our communication security: how to encrypt and authenticate or messaging and calls.  The ‘Security and Other Lies’ blog entries in Counting from Zero reflect this emphasis.  Today, privacy is a bigger concern, and how to minimize the meta-data about our communication and messaging is discussed in the ‘Privacy and Other Mirages’ blog entries in Returning to Zero.

One thing that hasn’t changed in six years is the excitement and nervous energy involved in launching a new book.  I can’t wait for Returning to Zero to be available and to get feedback and comments!

And looking forward another six years?  Who knows…

Returning to Zero, the sequel to Counting from Zero, and the second book in the Mick O’Malley series will be available on Amazon as Kindle and Paperback editions on February 25, 2017.

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