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Gray Day

My Undercover Mission to Expose America's First Cyber Spy
Written by: Eric O'Neill
Narrated by: Eric O'Neill
Length: 9 hrs and 42 mins
5 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A cybersecurity expert and former FBI "ghost" tells the thrilling story of how he helped take down notorious FBI mole Robert Hanssen, the first Russian cyber spy.

Eric O'Neill was only 26 when he was tapped for the case of a lifetime: a one-on-one undercover investigation of the FBI's top target, a man suspected of spying for the Russians for nearly two decades, giving up nuclear secrets, compromising intelligence, and betraying US assets. With zero training in face-to-face investigation, Eric found himself in a windowless, high-security office in the newly formed Information Assurance Section, tasked officially with helping the FBI secure its outdated computer system against hackers and spies - and unofficially with collecting evidence against his new boss, Robert Hanssen, an exacting and rage-prone veteran agent with a disturbing fondness for handguns. 

In the months that follow, Eric's self-esteem and young marriage unravel under the pressure of life in Room 9930, and he questions the very purpose of his mission. But as Hanssen outmaneuvers an intelligence community struggling to keep up with the new reality of cybersecurity, he also teaches Eric the game of spycraft. Eric will just have to learn to outplay his teacher if he wants to win.

A tension-packed stew of power, paranoia, and psychological manipulation, Gray Day is also a cautionary tale of how the US allowed Russia to become dominant in cyber espionage - and how we might begin to catch up.

©2019 Eric O'Neill (P)2019 Random House Audio

What the critics say

“If Robert Ludlum spitballed an espionage story with a Russian hacker, they might have conjured up with something as wild and riveting as Gray Day. Except that this yarn, incredibly, is true. An enthralling spy tale that feels ever more relevant with each passing day.” (Dave Howard, author of Chasing Phil: The Adventures of Two Undercover Agents with the World's Most Charming Con Man)

“What job could possibly be twisty, mind-bending, and demanding than being an undercover spy in one of the FBI’s own cybersecurity units? With resolute doggedness, shrewd psychological instincts, and the sheer guts to make critical split-second decisions, rookie agent Eric O’Neill helped to turn the tables on his own boss - one of the most dangerous traitors of our time. In Gray Day he weaves together his personal and professional stories with all the skills of a seasoned novelist. The result is a thrilling, page-turning brew worthy of Hollywood - only better because it’s real.” (Elisabeth Elo, author of Finding Katarina M.

"Gray Day is both a real-live tension packed thriller, and a persuasive argument for traditional intelligence work in the information age." (Bruce Schneier, New York Times best-selling author of Data and Goliath and Click Here to Kill Everybody

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Cyberspy, FBI, Recent History = Thriller

A first person recount of the hunt for Robert Hanssen, the FBI agent turned Russian mole who had a more adverse affect on the US espionage world than almost any other single person. Eric O'Neill brings to life his own history as the front line person assigned to bring down Robert Hanssen. Hidden for years, Hanssen's intelligence and computer-savvy skills allowed him to stay steps ahead of the CIA and FBI. After years of hunting him, the Bureau finally had found their man. But how to prove it? Young gun Eric O'Neill gets thrust into the job of getting the proof.
O'Neill is great as narrator of his own story. He provides enough detail to keep the story exciting without getting bogged down in the minutia of details in which some spy-thriller authors revel. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to listening to it again and again.

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  • Darren Sapp
  • 2019-04-06

A Real Spy Story

O'Neill has written a first-class memoir detailing his undercover mission to expose America's greatest traitor. Far from the Bond-like adventure we think of, the real work is gritty, sometimes boring, but also dangerous. It also has a tremendous impact on families. This is a spy story and a darn good one!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Silvana M Schuster
  • INDIANAPOLIS, IN, US
  • 2019-04-03

Amazing story.

Absolutely amazing story on many levels. very frightening description of how our communications and technology are compromised by Russia and China. everyone should be required to listen or read it.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • POPO MC
  • 2019-04-02

Great story

I enjoyed the book once I started I did not put down. As a security professional this was a good story of an insider threat!!!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Sy Wafflewitz
  • New Jersey United States
  • 2019-04-24

phenomenal book

just a great listen and book. author is brutally honest and does not try to make himself a superhero. really fantastic

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • Wichita, KS USA
  • 2019-04-24

An excellent read!

This book kept me listening almost addictively until the end. It's a story of catching a spy, but also a story of a human being trying to balance an intense job, an abusive boss, and an increasingly difficult home life, made more so by the author's understanding that the extraordinary tension at work was stressing what could have been a good marriage almost to the breaking point. This country has a lot of heroes, and some of them have desk jobs. Highly recommended!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Douglas Palmer
  • 2019-04-22

Good story....fun to listen to

The book was suspenseful and fun to listen to. I also learned a few more things about the FBI.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • anne choyce
  • 2019-06-02

Fascinating Book!

An amazing story of the journey of a former FBI agent working within the nation's most trusted agency to catch one of their own. Profoundly insightful, and very educational about the world of spies.

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  • Brian M Barnhart
  • 2019-05-15

Real life spy novel

This had all of the elements of a classic spy novel but these things actually happened. Every cybersecurity/intelligence professional should consider adding this to his reading list.

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  • Sleas_AZ
  • Buckeye, AZ
  • 2019-05-12

Loved this!

it was very interesting and we'll written. I feel like we as Americans should know what is happening with our Government and this was a little peak into the everyday happenings while we are out doing John Q. Public things in our own world.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2019-05-09

Excellent!

O’Neil does an amazing job explaining the Hansen case, and while it was a great trip down memory lane on the case. It was wonderful to hear it from his words.

The final chapters were almost the best, as he touches on America’s truest threats. Cyber security...
you can not tell one story with out the other. This story was well done in all aspects.

I hope this is not O’Neil’s last book.