Operation Desolation


Paul Baccas

Sophos, UK
Editor: Helen Martin


Paul Baccas reviews a short story by Windows systems internals expert and Microsoft Technical Fellow, Mark Russinovich: Operation Desolation.

Title: Operation Desolation: The Case of the Anonymous Bank Defacement

Author: Mark Russinovich

Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books

ASIN: B0080K37P2

This short story is set in Las Vegas at ‘CyberCon’, a conference hosted by a fictional security training and consulting company and sponsored by a major US Department of Defense contractor. We see the return of the hero of Russinovich's first novel, Zero Day, the cyber maven Jeff Aiken, with passing appearances from Daryl Haugen. In the story, Daryl has left her job at the National Security Agency and joined Jeff in a professional and personal partnership. The events take place in the two-year period between Zero Day and the author's latest novel, Trojan Horse.

The story attempts to tackle a number of newsworthy issues: the banking crisis, hacktivism and the Anonymous group. The issues are covered in rather broad brush strokes – and if we believe that the author has followed the tip ‘write about what you know’, one might conclude that he had been burned in the banking crisis.

A nice touch is that there is a teaser in this story for Trojan Horse, in that there is mention of the Android vulnerability that is crucial to its plot.

Operation Desolation is another dynamic and engaging story from Russinovich – once started, it is hard to put down.



Latest articles:

Nexus Android banking botnet – compromising C&C panels and dissecting mobile AppInjects

Aditya Sood & Rohit Bansal provide details of a security vulnerability in the Nexus Android botnet C&C panel that was exploited to compromise the C&C panel in order to gather threat intelligence, and present a model of mobile AppInjects.

Cryptojacking on the fly: TeamTNT using NVIDIA drivers to mine cryptocurrency

TeamTNT is known for attacking insecure and vulnerable Kubernetes deployments in order to infiltrate organizations’ dedicated environments and transform them into attack launchpads. In this article Aditya Sood presents a new module introduced by…

Collector-stealer: a Russian origin credential and information extractor

Collector-stealer, a piece of malware of Russian origin, is heavily used on the Internet to exfiltrate sensitive data from end-user systems and store it in its C&C panels. In this article, researchers Aditya K Sood and Rohit Chaturvedi present a 360…

Fighting Fire with Fire

In 1989, Joe Wells encountered his first virus: Jerusalem. He disassembled the virus, and from that moment onward, was intrigued by the properties of these small pieces of self-replicating code. Joe Wells was an expert on computer viruses, was partly…

Run your malicious VBA macros anywhere!

Kurt Natvig wanted to understand whether it’s possible to recompile VBA macros to another language, which could then easily be ‘run’ on any gateway, thus revealing a sample’s true nature in a safe manner. In this article he explains how he recompiled…

Bulletin Archive

We have placed cookies on your device in order to improve the functionality of this site, as outlined in our cookies policy. However, you may delete and block all cookies from this site and your use of the site will be unaffected. By continuing to browse this site, you are agreeing to Virus Bulletin's use of data as outlined in our privacy policy.