My Source: I received a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Tanner Zane is a Mormon with a secret criminal past. Nobody suspects that, before his religious conversion, Tanner hacked into thousands of computer networks across the globe. He accumulated millions of dollars from his illegal activities until a sudden, life-changing event caused him to abandon hacking and give his fortune to charity. But Tanner’s guarded past is exposed when he is kidnapped by his mysterious neighbor and forced to hack into an impossible target – Los Alamos National Labs. Inside the government facility is a prototype quantum computer that is powerful enough to crack the digital safeguards of the Internet. When Tanner learns that cyber-terrorists will use the quantum computer to commit massive identify theft and corporate espionage around the world, he deliberately engages in an intellectual battle with his captors to prevent them from obtaining the device.
Anyone who knows me, knows that I'm obviously not skilled in the dark side of technology. I thought this story was very clever and engaging. I was completely fascinated...and sometimes almost horrified...by what went on. I don't know how in the world the author came up with the ideas and skills in this book, but they made for a great story! Hopefully, they're not based on true stories, because there were things in here that scared me a little.
Tanner has changed. He was quite a skilled computer hacker until something happened to cause him to quit. He also found religion and turned his back on his past, secret life. Now, he is right back where he used to be and the way he deals with his situation is astounding. I don't think I could ever be brave enough, not to mention smart enough, to pull of what Tanner did. There were twists and turns that kept me on the edge of my seat.
This story really caused me to stop and think about what I put on the Internet. I'm sure I give away too much information, even though I try hard to be careful. I guess I'm pretty naive and really didn't realize how easy it is for people to get personal information. There was a dating situation that was very believable and it made me wonder if the people I "meet" are really who they seem to be.
The story ends on an open note, leaving room for a possible follow up or companion book. I understand that this story was previously published under the title The Mormon Hacker. It has since been changed and the author has published another book, The Utah Code Breaker.
Content: no language; violence (shootings, torture, threats, perilous situations, death, kidnapping), but not graphic; no romance; talk of religion, but not preachy. I would consider it clean for an older teen or adult.
About the Author:
Few people understand the terrifying, yet realistic threat of computer hacking like Denver Acey. Denver has spent his entire professional career in the information technology industry where he has witnessed and even thwarted actual cybercrime. From his top-secret job working for the US government to securing computer networks at Fortune 500 companies, Denver is personally familiar with hackers and their unscrupulous activities.
But over the years, Denver has become increasingly frustrated with Hollywood's inaccurate portrayal of cybercrime. Hackers are more intelligent and more sophisticated than simple teenagers, who guzzle down Mountain Dew while playing video games. Cybercrime is a billion-dollar business that encompasses organized crime and foreign governments. For these elite hackers, the fruits of success are iconic trademarks, innovative patents, and government secrets.
Because of his unique background, Denver decided to write a book to dispel hacking myths while highlighting the tenacity of cybercriminals. Utilizing actual computer hacking concepts and scenarios that he has experienced firsthand, Denver illustrates -- in a simple way for even the non-techie to understand -- how vulnerable we all are to cybercrime.