Top positive review
Astonishing, frightening and very possible novel of a global cyber attack
June 1, 2018
Sometimes the greatest novels can be very frightening and depressing. Margaret Atwood's classic "A Handmaid's Tale" pictures a future dystopia being operated by a very militant Christian theocracy that has violently taken over the United State. We know of course of "1984", which has all but come true, and the logical extension as far as our total reliance on the internet in "Cyberspace" details the horrific collapse of the internet and a one-two punch of a pair of devastating blizzards that completely bury Manhattan and with no services of any kind, cripples NYC.
The story is told through the eyes of one man and his family as they face an increasingly severe and deadly situation as NYC is literally cut off from the world with only very scant information that is totally unreliable getting through on short wave or a few remaining local radio stations. The brilliance and terrifying events described are incredibly chilling and Mather, who works in the internet security field and obviously knows his stuff, makes the reader think of a realm of horror that can happen if, such as in "Cyberstorm", events collide with several cyber terrorist groups all descending on the world infrastructure at the same time, a near war state between the U.S. and China, and the loss of all utilities, including power, sewer, water and less and less food as the attacks have shut down the freight industry and storms closed the highways.
To get into more details isn't really a good idea in the interest of being a spoiler, but as we read further in, more and more consequences of the attacks and storm manifest, and the toll it takes on people's minds and bodies is terrible to read about, but Mather presents a picture that we should all give careful consideration. The book has already been a best seller, and a movie is being made based on the book.
Besides being presented in a manner that the reader doesn't know the whole scope of the disaster any quicker than the primary characters, it presents very real problems with the over reliance on computer networks and so little thought to non-cyber back up protections, such as utilities and many services having systems still capable of operating without computers.
This scenario isn't in the book, but my brother and I have thought about it in the past: today's cars are basically computer operated, and a skilled hacker with a VIN number could literally bring your car to a dead stop any time, any where, just by disabling the ignition system from a laptop computer. Only very old junkers and antique vehicles would be operational then.
Besides a very good read, "Cyberstorm" is a modern day "Brave New World" or "1984", complete with a thorough vision, the problems that bring the story to life and possible fixes, if indeed any are available. This is a cautionary tale but one that is terribly important in our world today. An absolute must read for anybody concerned about our futures.