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Posted January 7, 2015
Well written, fast past cyber thriller that leaves you wanting more. The references to computer and SCADA vulnerabilities is dead accurate.
Any IT person should enjoy this series. It would be nice if this was collected into one eBook. Multiple purchases was the only downside.
Posted September 24, 2014
I gave it 5 stars. It was intriguing to say the least. My knowledge of cyberspace is minimal.
This story frightened me by calling to awareness all the aspects of our lives that are governed by the internet. Every key stroke we make, every Twitter or Facebook Status we key in, reveals something about us. Should that knowledge be accessed by an unscrupulous individual, it puts us at risk. It can be used as a weapon.
PrinceSec was developed by Anthony Prince & 'had been supplying industry-leading security software for years and with a substantial number of the major control systems operating in Europe already using PrinceSec’s software, they were in a unique position of trust.'
He got involved with something called the Teddybear's Picnic Network where a group of like-minded individuals shared child pornography. That involvement opened the door to a criminal hacker group known as Black Flag. They blackmailed him into allowing them access into PrinceSec's database. It became a lucrative partnership for them.
He was changing his life as he knew it by divorcing his wife & moving to Thailand where he could obtain his 'little princess'. He transferred his monies to an offshore account & was ready to fly his plane to England to tell his wife he was leaving when an airplane mechanic handed him an envelope.
"The envelope had contained a single slip of paper with a series of digits written on it. Four sets of numbers, separated by three dots.
Prince recognised them immediately as a numerical website address. Sitting in the lounge at the airport, he had opened a secure browser on his laptop and keyed in the numbers. He often received information this way from his contacts, and he hadn’t thought twice about entering the digits. The address took him to a directory with several links in it. The first link said ‘Read Me’.
As Prince clicked on the link, it refreshed the screen with a cryptic note, which read: 'You will never know me, but I will be the death of you. I saw what you did — I see everything you do. I heard what you said — I know your secrets.I know where you went — I follow you everywhere. You are not above scrutiny — I scrutinise everything. You are not above the law — I am the law. Don’t ask for forgiveness, nor pardon, nor grace. Just understand this: If you cannot live by the Code, you must die by the Code.'- Strider"
Prince started his flying his plane back to London on a rainy night, when he got warning lights & dings from the control panel.
"He was starting to hate that ominous little light. He disengaged the autopilot and tried to right the plane. The controls felt like they were fighting against him. His stomach lurched as he felt the plane go into a roll. What the hell was happening? The controls not only wouldn’t respond, but they seemed to do the opposite of everything he asked. As if from nothing, the small jet started to spin out of control, spiralling straight downward.
‘Mayday, Mayday, Mayday!’ he called over the radio. ‘Charlie Juliet Four. I’m out of control. I’m going down! Mayday, Mayday, Mayday!’ Nothing but static came as a response. He had been in a roll like this before; the Cessna was a touchy jet. He needed to act quickly. Trying to compose himself, Prince released the stick, eased forward on it again and felt the plane lift out of the roll and come back to level. He was a good pilot. He tried to calm down again, breathed out, and felt the plane come fully back into his control. He couldn’t see anything in the gloom outside, but he checked his console which confirmed that he’d lost height, so he cautiously eased the stick forward to lift the nose.‘Control? This is Citation Charlie Juliet four. I’m okay. I’m okay. Leveling up,’ he said.
‘Goodnight, sweet Prince,’ came the reply.
"Prince looked up from the console just in time to see the looming white face of the cliffs of Dover right in front of him. His altitude indicator was way off — he had pulled up level just above the surface of the sea. There was not even time to scream before his small jet crashed into the white cliff face and exploded with the force."
Strider aka Mitchell was a charming young hacker who could blend into society rather than the presumed image as a pale-skinned social misfit.
He was responsible for Prince's death. He thought of himself as a skilled provider of a necessary service. The fact that he was an assassin was a sideline. As Mitchell he works for the National Cyber Crime Unit.
"He prided himself on being able to get close to even the most carefully protected people in the world. For some reason, no matter how paranoid in every other aspect of their lives, people somehow forgot to look over their digital shoulder quite as carefully. Nobody had really figured out the digital equivalent of bodyguards yet."
He did due diligence in selecting a target by studying their every move.
"Sometimes his targets were politicians, sometimes law-makers, sometimes CEOs of major corporations. The one thing that linked them all was their arrogance in thinking that they were above the law. Well, perhaps they were above the law, but they were not beyond the reach of the Code."
Mitchell as Strider dispensed justice according to his Code. "Strider never felt guilt. Why should he? He was performing a service after all. Policing the ones the police couldn’t catch, governing the ungovernable."
A member of Black Flag discovered Strider's existence & determined to find & get rid of him even though he felt a grudging respect for his hacking abilities.
"Nightshade smiled. It was a smile of pure, twisted malice. There was still some fun to be had. There was something intriguingly familiar about the hacker’s work, and Nightshade wanted to know more. Besides, there was no point getting rid of an adversary without letting them know they’d been beaten — where was the fun in that?"
The race was on for Mitchell to protect his identity from Black Flag's Nightshade.
The world has become a smaller place with the development of the World Wide Web.
"There’s something for everyone: if you can think of it, the Internet will have something dedicated to it. That’s how the majority of the connected population see it, anyway. Very few of us stop to think about just how many of our daily activities are now ‘connected’. Yes, we are aware of identity theft, spamming, phishing, viruses and worms, but few of us will look at a device which has been built to make our lives easier and see it as a possible weapon. Potentially, anything with an electronic component could be hacked to cause huge damage."
To me, this was the truly scary part. I've been one of those unaware, thoughtless people who has over-shared on social media forums. Now I'll be more cautious.
Rebecca McDonald worked for PrinceSec's Security services. I could relate to part of her description. "Her dark brown hair hung in springy curls, in a shape that could only be described as full. She had embraced her curls early on in life. Of course, as a teenager she had gone through the inevitable rebellion, trying straighteners, chemicals and tongs but there was no point fighting it."
The only difference being that my hair was red & unruly. I called it 'willful hair' & realized that it might as well suit the rest of my stubborn personality.
Strider has been bullied throughout his childhood. He real
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Posted June 21, 2014
I absolutely loved this book. It is a serial novel, but it is one that once you begin you are going to want to read every page of the following series. The technology is true and so informative. It does not bog down in technical details, but it does make you aware of what goes on behind the scenes and what the net is truly capable of. I can't say enough good things about this book, and you should stop reading my review and start reading Netwars.This is a great reading experience, and this author really keeps the flow of the story going, along with great character development I was given this book for an honest review, and my review reflects my true reading experience.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 20, 2014
Not a romance, this was supposed to be a tech-thriller. I enjoyed what plot there was, there just wasn't enough of it. Maybe it's because it's a serial, but ... something just left me out cold. The problem I had with this book was the fact that there was so much information dumped about so many little facets of the internet and the Deep Web, along with information about PrinceSec, that I just sort of ended up skimming a lot of the book.
Strider/Mitchell - I liked the dual persona thing the main character had going for him. While I don't approve of being all assassin-like, I have to admire his personal code and the lengths he's willing to go to eliminate evil in the world.
There were many different facets to this book (the Deep Web, the Black Flag group, the ongoing human trafficking issue - at least I assume that's what the very end implied). There was no overall conclusion to the issues raised, and given this is a serial novel, that wasn't a problem for me.
I definitely want to read more in this series, but it wasn't something that totally blew my mind. Three gargoyles!
Book provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Posted May 18, 2014
Flagship security software - Cryptos was supplied to governments as form of cyber security systems around europe,
and the company was built on a single piece of code. This is a story of intrigue, mystery, espionage and blackmail at the highest levels, together with
seedy undertones, a secret urge for young girls and a elite group of hackers who have worked on the criminal marked on
deep Web. If your looking for a thriller then this is the one for you, edge of seat reading with twist and turns.