In the present day, Islamic Jihad is waged against the United States in an unusual way: an expert hacker “G0d_of_Internet”, commissioned by the leader of the Islamic Crusade, has designed Chrysalide, a botnet set to morph into a series of attacks against the United States in five short days. If it cannot be stopped, Chrysalide will systematically shut down the United States via security breaches in water supply and electricity, starting in Los Angeles, and is set to reroute the holdings of all of the United States’ banks to an international account. A group of security data analysts, the department of Homeland Security, and the wife of a Saudi Arabian PhD work to stop the attacks.
Ken is the leader of an international group of hackers, most of whom have acquired their expertise from shady past experiences. He unites the group to mitigate the cyber attack of a botnet of unusually savvy design. Los Angeles is already under siege as a result of the botnet’s infestation of water and electricity systems, and there is no time to waste in putting a stop to the botnet’s reach. By accessing the best expertise available to him, Ken is put in touch with Juliana, the communications manager of UCLA’s Center for Information Technology, which is led by Juliana’s Saudi Arabian husband, Mahaz. Mahaz and Juliana are anything but happily married, and Juliana struggles to understand her husband’s erratic, violent behavior while holding down her job and caring for the couple’s sick teenager. Ken’s insistence that she be a part of the botnet puzzle’s investigation is ill-timed; though it becomes clear she is an unlikely and pivotal ally in the race to curtail the botnet’s seemingly inevitable collision course with all the United States holds dear.
GOD OF INTERNET is attention-grabbing from the first page. Not only is the story’s premise captivating and intriguing, it is one that is seemingly ripped from the headlines of today’s world news. The author’s fictional suggestion that cyber hacking is a reasonable next phase in the world’s dealings with Islamic terrorism is compelling, timely, and portrayed in a frighteningly realistic manner. The strength of this story is found in its contemporary subject matter, but also in its portrayal of multiple endearing characters: a villain that is entirely despicable and a set of protagonists who are cheer-worthy, vivid and fascinating from the very point of their first introduction. While the plot employs use of multiple phrases and terms reserved normally for tech-savvy programmers, there is adequate description to keep the relevance of these terms within reach of readers who aren’t privy to programmer logo. Fast-paced action, creative use of dialogue and a bevy of realistic plot turns keeps this story moving forward towards its satisfying conclusion.
GOD OF INTERNET is a delightfully frightening, completely realistic fictional depiction of a new face of terrorism.