Book Review | Countdown to Zero Day

Countdown to Zero Day: Stuxnet and the Launch of the World’s First Digital Weapon
by Kim Zetter

The Book in Three Sentences

  1. The first cyber war attack by the US targeting centrifuges in Iran.
  2. This was the first attack, but it is seen as only the beginning and shows that many systems all over the world are in danger of being exploited.
  3. Real physical destruction can be caused by a malicious computer code.


This book is not the first cyber security book I’ve read. The story telling was done well, if a little long winded, like many non-fiction books I think this book could have been condensed further. At times it read as though the author was trying to make an article into a book, but at 400 plus pages, I think there was too much repetitive content. Nonetheless, this was an interesting book and covers a pivotal part of cyber history. Stuxnet is mentioned and discussed in many of the virtual training classes I have been taking in the last few months.

Who Should Read It

I think there are two categories of people who would be interested in this book. One being history people. I fit in this category as well. This was such a pivotal part of how technology is changing modern warfare that it can’t be ignored.

The second group that will be interested in this book are those with an interest in computers especially information security folks. This is the first virus designed specifically to target a very niche device. It was purposely written to attack, just that device to accomplish political goals.

My Takeaways

  • It made me aware that governments can leverage malicious code to attack each other, minimizing human loss
  • I learned that governments is keeping zero days to themselves in order to carry out attacks against their enemies