A Quick Book Review: Trojan Horse by Mark Russinovich

When it comes to novels and movies that involve computer security, many book authors only have a superficial knowledge and at the point where the thief, agent, etc. uses a 'sophisticated' device that discovers the code for a security system digit by digit I usually switch off in disgust. But there are exceptions such as Mark Russinovich's novels.

Mark is one of the guys behind Sysinternals, bought by Microsoft a couple of years ago and has intimate knowledge Windows and its security architecture. And lately, he's ventured into the domain of writing cybercrime fiction. I first discovered his book "Zero Day" last year when I was in Seattle via a recommendation on the weekly Security Now podcast with Leo Laporte and Steve Gibson. Otherwise I'd probably have never picked up a copy as his name was unfamiliar to me. I read it within a couple of days and was totally addicted as the scenarios were very realistic.

A year later and Mark has come up with a sequel 'Trojan Horse'. This time I read it on a pad instead of picking up a hard cover version and again finished it within a couple of days and didn't sleep enough during that time. He gives even more technical details in this book and the only thing he got wrong from what I can tell is that to get root permissions on an Android phone, it has to be rooted and not jail-broken. The plot is fast paced and believable, the technical details are accurate and frightening but it's good to know that the protagonist needed some help from his friends at the NSA to get certain kind of data (no spoiler here…). In plots of non-tech authors that would probably have been just a few clicks away.

I'm totally hooked and I hope Mark will come up with another sequel. 5-star recommendation!

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