Dan Brown - Digital Fortress book

Andre Amorim decouk at gmail.com
Wed Jan 14 17:12:07 CET 2009

>concept of rotating-cleartext ever existed.[1]
>Charly Avital

Thanks Charly Avital for explanations.
I know, I'd had read his others books firstly... and yes... I read
like Dan as who is reading comics books, no worrys.

The thing that really catch my attention was the concept of
rotating-cleartext thing.

But I think the book is good in the sense that it's encourage those
who are not expert in the subject to know more about. Thats why I'm
here asking.


2009/1/14 Charly Avital <shavital at mac.com>:
> Andre Amorim wrote the following on 1/14/09 9:49 AM:
>> Hi all,
>> Anyone knows what's is fact (real) and what is fiction in Dan Brown
>> novel, Digital Fortress ?
>> Kind Regards,
>> [s]
> I read it years ago. I believe it's the worst book ever written by Dan
> Brown.
> Some excerpts from: <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Fortress>. I
> believe the following list of Mr. Brown's errors (or delusions) is not
> exclusive, to say the least.
> Still, it's my opinion, only.
> Charly
> ----------
> "Although the book's website cites reviews lauding Digital Fortress for
> being extremely realistic, the book contains a number of technical
> errors and misunderstandings in computers, math and technology.
>    * Brown mentions a Hungarian mathematician, Josef Harne, who in 1987
> proposed an encryption algorithm that, in addition to encrypting,
> shifted decrypted cleartext over a time variant. However, neither Harne
> nor the concept of rotating-cleartext ever existed.[1]
>    * Brown says the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki was fueled by the
> uranium isotope U-238. The Fat Man bomb dropped on Nagasaki was fueled
> by plutonium 239, and U-238 is not an easily fissionable isotope of
> uranium (needing a fusion reaction to initiate fission in the U-238).
>    * Brown also inaccurately portrays the leadership of the NSA. As
> part of the Department of Defense, the NSA director - by law - must be a
> three-star Lieutenant General or Vice Admiral.
>    * Brown confuses bits with bytes, describing a 64bit string as
> containing 64 alphanumeric characters. In fact it would be just 8
> assuming the most basic 8bit character encoding, each character being a
> byte or 8 bits.
>    * Brown suggests that TRANSLTR, a machine capable of breaking a
> 64bit key in 10 minutes would take just an hour to break a 10,000 bit
> key. This is a gross misunderstanding of the relationship between key
> lengths and the time required to brute force them. Such a machine would
> take over 80,000 years to break a 96-bit key and over 350,000 billion
> years (nearly 30,000 times the current age of the universe) to break a
> 128-bit key. The number of years it would take to break a 10,000 bit key
> isn't even practical to write down - it has 2,987 digits.
>    * Brown repeatedly confuses storage or processing of data with
> execution. For example, TRANSLTR is threatened because it has tried to
> crack Digital Fortress, which is actually a virus, and the database is
> similarly threatened because Digital Fortress is sent to it by TRANSLTR.
> Databases and password crackers do not execute the information presented
> to them, so it wouldn't matter that Digital Fortress contains harmful
> instructions.
>    * Characters who are supposedly experts in cryptography seem to
> think there is no such thing as an unbreakable encryption scheme. See
> one-time pad."
> ----------

Andre Amorim
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