Book Review – Digital Fortress

As with any book featuring technology, reading it 20+ years after it was written things are going to feel a little dated. But get past that and the story premise is quite interesting.

This is Dan browns first book, so some latitude is allowed when comparing to his more recent books. The story line was predictable and I had worked out the various twists well before the author reveals them – something he improves on in more recent books. Having said that, it was an enjoyable read. The 101 introduction to cryptography in the early chapters is quite accurate and is presented in a way most people will understand – I may use this approach when I write the Cryptography blog. He also raises some interesting questions about privacy long before the Edward Snowden disclosures as to what the NSA were actually doing (and in all likelihood still are). What they were actually doing at the time was far worse than portrayed in the book. It does raise the question ‘Who watches the watchers’, which in relation to the NSA who are watching out for security threats to the USA, who watches the NSA?

Despite the very dated technology by todays standards, if you can throw yourself back to 1998 when this book was first published and the knowledge of the NSA at the time, this will prove to be a good read.

Review Copyright © JM Business Security, January 2021

Original book cover art copyright the original authors and publishers.

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