Flare Zero As noted in 2. The "Flare" lineFlare is the name for a new programming language that is to be the vehicle of a series of improvements in programming techniques. As designed so far, the true, elegant version of the Flare language contains a number of features which will probably not be frequently used
The story of MS", as things stand. However, I'd like to add that it was a gripping read, very well written, and we hope to see more from you in future! Because the plot of your yarn is highly technical, we engaged a specialist external reader to evaluate it. And they had some unfortunate words to say on the subject of plausibility.
I attach the reader's report, in the hope that you might consider amending your manuscript accordingly. In fact, it reads like a mash-up of popular conspiracy theories, alarmism, and bad Hollywood thriller cliches.
Also, the characterisation is spotty: We suppose this is a side-effect of telling a story as a collage of blog entries and web news reports, in an update of the style pioneered by John Dos Passos: Now, to the problems with the plot: We start with a shadowy US government agency, the NSA, systematically analyzing the software of the biggest American computer companies in search of vulnerabilities.
So far, so plausible: However, instead of helping Microsoft fix them, we are supposed to believe that the NSA hoard their knowledge of weaknesses in Microsoft Windows, a vitally important piece of their own nation's infrastructure, in case they'll come in handy againt some hypothetical future enemy.
I'm sorry, but this just won't wash; surely the good guys would prioritize protecting their own corporate infrastructure?
But this is just the first of the many logical inconsistencies which riddle the back story and plot of "Zero Day". Next, the plot takes a turn towards faceless anonymous parties lacks drama!
These documents are the crown jewels of cyberwarfare, but they're apparently just lying around on the NSA's internal network for anyone to grab. WikiLeaks, we are led to believe, may be a front for the Kremlin twirls evil moustachio villainously but if this is the case and they're acting for the KGB why would they disclose such vital American secrets?
Spies just don't do that sort of thing. Also, who is supposed to have smuggled these secrets out of the NSA headquarters, and how?
Did they use a thumb drive? Email it to themselves? This is a huge missed opportunity for tension and plot development and it's completely absent from the manuscript as reviewed. This only really affects older Windows systems and can be blocked by simply switching off legacy file sharing support, so it's no big deal, but Microsoft dilligently release security updates through March, including a fix for vulnerability MS, as the NSA black ice is renamed by people who don't get their ideas for codenames out of bad technothrillers.
Then, one day in May, all hell breaks loose. And in a matter of hours, the new malware, known as Wanna Decryptor, infects the entire British National Health Service, a Spanish cellphone company, FedEx, and over a third of a million computers whose owners had lazily failed to enable automatic security updates from Microsoft.
When a piece of "ransomware" infects a computer, it starts by stealthily encrypting all the personal documents, pictures, and spreadsheets on the PC. Only when it has finished does it pop up a window to warn the PC's owner, and issues a ransom demand.
Normal ransomware spreads by attaching copies of itself to email messages and sending them to everyone in the victim's address book. This means it won't propagate unless someone is so foolish as to ignore their antivirus messages and click on the attachment.
To this extent, the plot of "Zero Day" isn't even original. One is supposed to believe that evil genius hackers unidentified using code stolen from the most secretive of espionage organizations by some third party also unidentified and released for free on the internet, took someone else's poor quality malware author unidentified and turned it into a cyber first-strike weapon that causes carnage worldwide because millions of responsible computer operators fail to apply vital software security patches for months after they're released?
But then it gets worse. In the foreground, ambulance despatch systems are going down: FedEx's parcel network is inaccessible: Deutsche Bahn train signaling is disrupted across half of Europe And a mild-mannered British computer security expert who is on his week off gets home from lunch with a friend, checks a work website implausible!
And then takes a couple of hours to realize that the evil genius responsible for a global terror attack helpfully left an "off" switch that anyone could flip?
I'm sorry, this is just silly. In fiction, we rely on the reader's willingness to suspend their disbelief in the lies we are telling them. Willing suspension of disbelief can be abused if the story lacks plausibility, and this part is totally implausible!
The WCry worm as it is thankfully abbreviated switches itself off if a random-seeming domain name has been registered and a web server exists to serve it. The mastermind who wrote this weapon obviously knows about bitcoin, and by extension, how blockchain works; surely they could have contrived some sort of cryptographically secure way to protect their kill switch?
This is the digital equivalent of the James Bond movie where the evil mastermind's lair from which the nuclear missiles are to be launched features a prominent red button labelled SELF-DESTRUCT, which, when pressed, does in fact cause the missile base to self-destruct.The writing can be pretty persuasive and that is possibly the reason why I’m taking the effort to comment.
I do not make it a regular habit of performing that. Oct 13, · DevTopics is a high-level and sometimes satirical look at software development and computer technology.
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