Thursday, June 5, 2014

Blog Tour/Review: The Quantum Breach by Denver Acey

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The Quantum Breach, by Denver Acey
2014, 256p, Fiction, Suspense
My Rating=5 Stars
Source: Received copy from publisher for an honest review

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.

This book hooked me from the first page and didn't let up the entire time! Tanner Zane is a computer programmer. His company gives all their employees a two-month paid sabbatical after they've been there for seven years, so his is just beginning. He's on his way to Phoenix to pick up his parents and they're going to take a leisurely tour of the Pacific Coast. However, when he gets to their home, he's stunned to see them blindfolded, gagged and bound to chairs and then he's grabbed from behind and faints.

When he wakes up, he finds himself bound to a chair in his parents' garage. He's told that his cooperation depends on whether his parents will live or not and is told that he needs to do some hacking for them. He's taken to a remote location where he meets the "Dream Team," aka the "Starting Five": Charles, Michael, Magic, Patrick and (a couple of days later, the boss) Larry.

In his college years, Tanner was a hacker until something happened that shook him up and made him stop. He then found religion and changed his ways. He had promised not to hack anymore, but his captors didn't care about that--they just wanted results. They hurt him and threatened him and he started to work with them. I felt that Tanner was up to something but couldn't figure it out. There are some great twists and turns which kept me quickly turning the pages to find out what would happen next.

This is one of those books that will make you think about your online presence. I like to think I'm careful but I know I've had lapses in judgment and posted things that I wanted to take back later. Tanner explains some of the things people do that make them vulnerable to identity theft. This book also shows how easy it is to exploit people in their personal lives to get them to do what you want, like finding someone in financial trouble or starting a relationship with someone who is looking for their soul mate. I also love that all of it was explained in a simple way that anyone (even me) can understand.

There is mention of religion and how it's changed Tanner's life, but there's no preaching, so anyone interested in a fast-paced, thrilling book will enjoy this one! There's also a touch of romance. While thinking that I want to read more, I realized that Denver Acey wrote The Utah Code Breaker, which is a book I've had on my Kindle for a while now and also features Tanner Zane, and now I am looking forward to reading that book as well. And I hope Mr. Acey is planning even more books in the future!

Few people understand the terrifying, yet realistic threat of computer hacking like Denver Acey. Acey 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, Acey is personally familiar with hackers and their unscrupulous activities.

But over the years, Acey 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, Acey 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, Acey illustrates — in a simple way for even the non-techie to understand — how vulnerable we all are to cybercrime.


Unknown said...

I have this on my TBR list and cannot wait to read it. My husband is a computer programmer and he is always telling me how easy it is to get information. Hehe. He cannot grasp why I do FB or anything. Needless to say computers are monitored and traffic is highly monitored at this house :). Having teenagers though I am very thankful for his diligence. Kids say things and put things out there that seem harmless but allow people to gain access so much easier. I have to admit books like this terrify me :). It's so "real". Great review!

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