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Trojan Horse: A Jeff Aiken Novel (Jeff Aiken #2)

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  1,719 Ratings  ·  132 Reviews
It’s two years after the Zero Day attacks, and cyber-security analyst Jeff Aiken is reaping the rewards for crippling Al-Qaida’s assault on the computer infrastructure of the Western world. His company is flourishing, and his relationship with former government agent Daryl Haugen has intensified since she became a part of his team.

But the West is under its greatest threat
Paperback, 336 pages
Published March 25th 2014 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published September 4th 2012)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Darren Vincent
Dec 08, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
This might be my last Russinovich read. As it is, it is my second (after Zero Day) and that may be one too many. I just was not impressed at all.

The beginning had promise and the technical side of the story (which is done very well, as expected) was balanced nicely with the actual plot. I actually found myself worrying about how close this comes to reality in the beginning and thought that the Chinese were more terrifying than anything that was shown in Zero Day. But that didn't last long. Someh
Jan 27, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really really wanted to like this series of books. And I've tried. I literally read through this book *twice* back to back. Just to see if perhaps the first go 'round I judged it unfairly... The book falls into the same trap, and even worse so, that the previous book falls into. Mark Russinovich is a very very smart, and talented man. In the field of security, and threat detection, he's a futurist, and a man that, has a lot of insight into what the future may hold for our political/t ...more
Sergey Teplyakov
Сегодня дочитал вторую по счету художественную книгу Марка Руссиновича под названием “Trojan Horse”. Первой был аналогичный кибер триллер “Zero Day” (ревью -, а эта книга является продолжением с теми же главными героями.

Как-то не знаю… Первое творение мне более или мене понравилось, не сюжетом, конечно, но и с ним все было не так и плохо. Вторая часть написана похожим образом, но вот положительных эмоций, почему-то стало меньше.
Понятно, что с точки зрени
Oct 19, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: technothrillers
OK, save the world in Zero Day, but don't let on, so when this all comes up again two years later, the folks in the intelligence services don't know what you have done, suspect you are just a cowboy, and you can almost get killed again.

Suggestion for the protagonists: read some self-help books on avoiding getting spied on, kidnapped, followed, shot, take some self defense training, hire some personal security, or get in another line of work.
Rick Howard
My Blog (Terebrate) review of this book:

Executive Summary:

I recommend this book for the casual reader that is interested in cyber security topics. It is not a must read for the cyber security professional, but it is a fun one. You will not learn anything new here, but you will enjoy wallowing around in a Clancy-esque story with cyber security tech as the main focus. In it, Russinovich describes the nature of the Chinese Cyber Espionage program, general hacking techniques, an
Jun 28, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Wesley Fox
Jan 25, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
A detailed technothriller that reminds me a lot of an NCIS episode. There's a little national security, international politics, and cyberwarfare mixed in with what is basically a story about a guy calling tech support. An unassuming premise that builds into a somewhat interesting story but author Mark Russinovich just doesn't generate that much excitement or drama.

Jeff Aiken is a cybersecurity expert coming off a huge success against Al Qaida. He is called in to analyze a potential security brea
Sep 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mark Russinovich is great at demonstrating how different aspects of cyberwarfare work in the real world, by having his characters develop, deploy and try to counter the technology in fictional but realistic settings. Cyberwarfare is everywhere now - so far as an espionage tool and a proxy for physical warfare - but with serious real-world threats and consequences. I like reading Russinovich because I feel like I learn a lot about what the actual threats are and how they might work.
Robbie Forkish
Dec 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The author is a highly respected senior technologist at Microsoft, so the tech in this techno-thriller is good stuff. This is book 2 of the series, and the "book" part (as opposed to the techie part) is much better than the first one. Great insights about how vulnerable we all are to cyber terrorism.
I won a copy of this through FirstReads!
Brian's Book Blog
Jul 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
See this review and more like it at Brian's Book Blog

A Tight and Technical Technothriller

I read the original novel by Russinovich years ago (Zero Day) and absolutely loved it.  Jeff Aiken was such a fun and different character. And Russinovich was incredibly detailed in his writings about the zero day virus he was writing out.  It helps that he has lots of knowledge in the tech world having worked at Microsoft and other tech firms. 

Trojan Horse was a little different, showing off more of the thr
Mar 07, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Meh. The first book was a bit frustrating at times but mostly fun. It was so in part because the computer-chase/analysis sequences were way more interesting than the action sequences, and the ratio in the first book leaned more toward the computer side, which the author clearly knows and understand.

This book reversed that ratio. There's a bit of computer sequences and then the rest of the book basically becomes one long action sequence. This is annoying because the characters aren't particularly
Željko Filipin
Dec 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
A short review at my blog:
Aug 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Something sinister is developing in the depths of the dark net. There are inexplicable power outages in Washington, and misinformation filtering through the systems of the United Nations. Jeff Aiken and his partner Daryl Hagen, having previously unmasked an al-Queda cyber attack against the United States, suspect this is more a technical conspiracy than buggy software -- and one that spans all of Eurasia.

Trojan Horse is a cyberthriller that leads with Jeff and Daryl’s computer forensics before s
Dec 26, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Trojan Horse" is ripped from the headlines in a great many ways, which keeps it relevant and
fast-paced, and Mark Russinovich uses his immense and storied technical background to inject
plausibility into this cautionary tale. Much of the Clancy-eseque subplot, however, borders on absurd and doesn't flow quite as well as the rest of the novel.

With the Sony hack proliferating every news cycle at this time, and its potential international reach, this book is actually quite timely. Even better, the
Oct 04, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed-books
"Trojan Horse" is a computer hacker's novel. I liked it. I was glad I read it. I don't think I would read it again.

This is a sequel to "Zero Day" by Mark Russinovich, the computer expert whose utilities I use daily. But since he sold his company to Microsoft he's been writing these novels that portray the risks we face from cyber warfare. His ideas of how cyber warfare could be used against America seem realistic. His characters... not so much.

This sequel is much like the original. It is excit
Sep 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
If you are into technology you are going to really enjoy this book. If you are at all interested in IT security then you are going to love this book. If you have read Mark's first book (Zero Day) then you are going to find that this one is even better and not just from a plot point of view.

What impressed me most about this book was how much more 'story-craft' has gone into it. That alone makes it a better book than 'Zero Day' (which was fantastic anyway). Combined with a great plot and returning
Michael Martz
Mark Russinovich's 'Trojan Horse' is a solid novel of tech conflict that seems to be as plausible as his first 'Zero Day' effort. The lead characters bring their same combination of techie prowess and physicality to the story, and the adversaries are just as nefarious as ever. It's the 2nd book in what I hope is a long series by a guy who clearly knows the terrain, but there's work to do.

From a story standpoint, Trojan Horse has a great high level plot but there are issues underneath. China's na
Jul 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very interesting read, and a great improvement from the author's previous book Zero Day: A Novel. The character development has improved, dialog is still lacking. But the story in the book, manages to make you pull through and enjoy the journey. I like the book, but I am miffed by the contrast between the precise description of software and most technical aspects and the utter invention of some other parts of the book. The most grievous case is when the protagonist have to buy phones, ...more
Bob Uva
Sep 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Trojan Horse is a suspenseful novel centering on two computer security consultants caught in the middle of state-sponsored cyber terrorism. Having read a lot of science fiction that, as a friend would say, is "soft", i.e., not based on true science, I have really enjoyed reading Mark's foray into fiction based on some of the real computer science that is being used in cyber terrorist attacks. As a practicing software engineer, and one who has written code using Microsoft technologies for over tw ...more
Pretty good book; I bought Zero Day when it came out a few years ago and loved it. This one is not quite as good; halfway through I thought it was about 3 stars but by the end I think it ended up at 4. I recently finished Ian Sutherland's first novella and novel, which have some parallels but are much more localize; a similar number of different perspectives but I felt it was a more personal plot and had me on the edge of my seat more. This book (and Zero Day) both are worldwide, terrorism relat ...more
Will Herman
You have to love an author who has written books on espionage and Windows Internals. I find the fact that Russinovich has written his espionage books while an employee at Microsoft very cool.

I read Zero Day, Russinovich's first espionage book when it came out. It was good, but not great. I thought he worked too hard to make a hacker/"security expert" a super hero. While it is a reasonable premise, it's just hard to get one's head around.

In this second book, we get more physical action and Russin
Bert Heymans
Jan 25, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed reading this book, the second in the series featuring computer security specialist, Jeff Aiken. Russinovich again draws on his extensive technical expertise to craft a fast paced novel that is believable and not over the top. It is a pleasure to read a text that doesn't require one to completely suspend belief in order to move through the story. From a technical standpoint, it is entirely possible that the events in the book could happen and some have probably already happened.

Mar 05, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Started today, March 5th, 2013, just after finishing Zero Day by the same author.
Story goes the same way as Zero Day, and thus is not so surprising, or good.
Also I think the team should stick to working with computers and leave the rest of the investigation to the police or 3-letter agencies.
Without even a weapon going after criminals, terrorists, spies who have guns and more training in using it, is mad and in the end not very realistic.
Once I can accept, be it luck or turn of events, but this
H.d. Jones
Mar 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a good story, a computer thriller that delivers on both action and technical material. But I'd suggest you avoid the audiobook, unless you find a version narrated by someone other than Johnny Heller. Heller does a terrible job. His attempts at accents for various characters don't work, and this is a tale with characters from many different countries across Europe and Asia. Moreover, there are many occasions when Heller seems surprised to discover two or three more words after he thinks h ...more
Dec 24, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I read this book then I ran a virus scan...

I imagine it is really difficult to write a cyber-thriller, since having the main characters hanging around laptops while using IRC is in no sense of the world actually thrilling...

Still Russinovich gives it a go, and manages to add in some car chases, planes and gunplay to make it a bit more interesting.

Of course Russinovich is better known for his extensive knowledge of the Microsoft operating system, and the amount of time and effort he spends himsel
Bryan Cacciatore
Trojan Horse takes Zero Day and pushes it even further to the limits. It follows the same computer geniuses a few years later getting into more world-changing antics. The technology in the book is believable and described well, even the more sophisticated cell phone tracking. It details a very plausible shift in the world powers and goes really deep into an underground network of how it would be pulled off. A lot of thought went into interactions with the characters, the politics, and the techno ...more
Mar 20, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is all right. May be a little bit better than Mark's previous (and first) novel. Mark is well known and recognized, for his "Windows Internals" low-level computer books (I even have one on my virtual favorite shelf) and I applaud him for his first more literally efforts. This book beginning was great IMHO, he has great descriptions for layman of nature of malware (where in fiction you see mentioning of a "pagefile"?), mid-book kept me bound for hours to read, end was somewhat boring despite c ...more
Feb 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was an entertaining book and the topics are fairly current. The story was fun.

Without getting into spoilers and details, I thought some of the security ideas were a little unrealistic. Much less so than the first book. There's just a couple of problems with the whole premise. Russinovich even mentions some of the problems, but doesn't give a credible reason why different actions weren't taken.

The ending of the book also felt a little rushed. The story built up pretty well, but then just ended
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Mark Russinovich is a Technical Fellow in Windows Azure, Microsoft's cloud operating system group. Russinovich is a widely recognized expert in Windows operating system internals as well as operating system architecture and design.

Russinovich joined Microsoft when Microsoft acquired Winternals software, the company he cofounded in 1996 and where he worked as Chief Software Architect. He is also c
More about Mark Russinovich...

Other Books in the Series

Jeff Aiken (3 books)
  • Zero Day (Jeff Aiken #1)
  • Rogue Code  (Jeff Aiken #3)

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“They’ll need to repave after this.” 0 likes
“China and oil, remember? Okay, here goes. This caught me by surprise—China is the second largest importer of oil in the world, after only you-know-who. Its economy grows at nearly 10 percent and its appetite for oil is all but insatiable, growing at 8 percent a year. You see, they decided to go with cars instead of sticking with mass transit.” “Big mistake,” Jeff said. “Cars are a dead end.” “Maybe, but you need an enormous infrastructure to support a thriving car industry and it is a quick way to provide jobs while giving the industrial base a huge boost. Plus, factories that produce cars can easily be converted to military needs.” She gave him a cockeyed smile. “Remember that crack about cars when you go shopping for one next month. I’ve seen you trolling the Web sites. Anyway, within twenty years they’ll have more cars than the U.S. and that same year they’ll be importing just as much oil as we do. So here’s the deal. They don’t have it. Want to guess where they get it from?” “The Middle East?” “No surprise, huh? And who is their biggest supplier?” “Iran. Right?” “You guessed, but yes, that’s right. They signed a deal saying if Iran would give them lots of oil, China would block any American effort to get the United Nations Security Council to do anything significant about its nuclear program. They’ve been doing a lot of deals with each other ever since.” He slipped his computer into his bag. “That explains a lot.” “Oh yeah, these two countries are very cozy indeed. Anyway, China gets most of its oil from Iran. And they don’t just need oil—they need cheap oil because they sell the least expensive gasoline in the world. I think that’s to keep everybody happy driving all those new cars.” 0 likes
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