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Home > Categories > Books > Thriller > Digital Fortress review

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Score: 9.5/10  [1 review]
5 out of 5
ProdID: 527 - Digital Fortress
Written by Dan Brown

Digital Fortress
Price:
$24.95
Sample/s Supplied by:
Click to search for all products supplied by Penguin Random House

Disclosure StatementFULL DISCLOSURE: A number of units of this product have, at some time, been provided to KIWIreviews by Penguin Random House or their agents for the sole purposes of unbiased, independent reviews. No fee was requested, offered nor accepted by KIWIreviews or the reviewers themselves - these are genuine, unpaid consumer reviews.
Available:
March 2004

Digital Fortress product reviews

When the National Security Agency's invincible code-breaking machine encounters a mysterious code it cannot break, the agency calls in its head cryptographer, Susan Fletcher, a brilliant, beautiful mathematician.

What she uncovers sends shock waves through the corridors of power. The NSA is being held hostage - not by guns or bombs, but by a code so complex that if released would cripple U.S. intelligence.

Caught in an accelerating tempest of secrecy and lies, Fletcher battles to save the agency she believes in. Betrayed on all sides, she finds herself fighting not only for her country but for her life, and in the end, for the life of the man she loves-

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Tags:
cryptography   cybercrime   cyphers   dan brown   decoding   encoding   security
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Product reviews...

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Click here to read the profile of tucker

Review by: tucker (Karl)
Dated: 22nd of February, 2005

Link to this review Report this review

 

This Review: 9.5/10
Price:
Score 9 out of 10
Re-Readability:
Score 9 out of 10
Suspense:
Score 10 out of 10
Believability:
Score 10 out of 10

After reading Dan's blockbuster The Da Vinci Code I was very impressed. There are not many books that can grip me and keep me trying to squeeze a few more minutes of reading time whenever possible. This was another of those kind of books, and I am glad of it!

Being a cybergeek, and having a passing interest in a wide range of topics, including encryption and cyphers, parallel processing and multi-access database development, I found this book to be right on track and easy to get to grips with. There were a few areas I think the author assumed a little too much basic stupidity on the part of high-ranking NSA people, but let's be realistic... people DO get stupid when they get too focussed on the minutae and forget to keep an eye on the bigger picture.

The characters were well developed, had realistic interaction and reacted to the situations in very plausible ways, the technology was not out-of-the-ballpark at all and reflected today's level of covert equipment pretty accurately... which is possibly one of the reasons the NSA doesn't want you to read this book, as claimed by the author's website.

I was really impressed with the easy way he explained various forms of cyphers and codes, and the various rules and assumptions that govern encryption these days. For example, there is a 'law' that states that there is no such thing as an unbreakable code... just ones so horribly complex that it would take far too long, or far too much processing power to break them in a realistic timeframe. After all, every lock has a key, and if you try every possible combination, you WILL eventually find the right one. Makes you think about just how secure 'secure' is in today's world. Goerge Orwell, eat ya heart out.

Overall, stunning! Another brilliant light in the techno-thriller literary sky to guide our way. The only tiny little niggle for me... there is a cypher code on the inside of the back cover. Referencing it through Dan Browns website simply gives the hint that you need to have a copy of the book in hand. I have tried so many cyphers, codes and encryption tricks to decode it, to no avail... I even tried the old page-number-and-letter-number trick... where each pair of numbers is a page number and a letter number, such that a pair of 128, 6 would be page 128, sixth letter from the top/bottom... to no avail! ARGH! Frustration.... Heheheheh.


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