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The Mezonic Agenda: Hacking the Presidency [Paperback]

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Item description for The Mezonic Agenda: Hacking the Presidency by Herbert H. Thompson & Spyros Nomikos...

Computer security expert Chad Davis, after being given a cryptic CD from computer hacker Baff Lexicon, investigates claims that Advice Software is trying to fix the upcoming presidential election through their new e-vote software, in a novel that provides a computer disc that allows readers to uncover clues and manipulate voting results.

Publishers Description
The "Stealing the Network" series from Syngress created a new genre of realistic but fictional cyber thrillers. "The Mezonic Agenda: Hacking the Presidency" is the first cyber thriller that allows readers to "hack along" with the heroes and villains using the accompanying CD which contains working versions of all the applications described in the fictional narrative of the book.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   368
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1" Width: 7" Height: 9"
Weight:   1.45 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 23, 2004
Publisher   Syngress
ISBN  1931836833  
ISBN13  9781931836838  

Availability  0 units.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Computers & Internet > Digital Business & Culture > Government
2Books > Subjects > Computers & Internet > General
3Books > Subjects > Computers & Internet > Networking > Networks, Protocols & API's > Network Security
4Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Politics > General

Reviews - What do customers think about The Mezonic Agenda: Hacking the Presidency?

Learn How The Bad Guys Do It  Mar 11, 2006
This is an easily understood novel that is both interesting and informative about how hackers attack applications. The first half of the book is a simple story that keeps your interest, and the second half is a text book on the history of voting machines and techniques for reverse engineering computer software. You have to want to learn something about hacking to read this book.
Scary that it is true!  Feb 18, 2005
The Mezonic Agenda: Hacking the Presidency is a novel, but it can happen.

this is scary as it is about technology that goes unchecked.

A good 'edu-tainment' book...  Jan 26, 2005
When I first saw this book I was skeptical of the writing. How could a book about computers and the Presidency be even remotely entertaining? When I looked at it closer and discovered the educational prospects of the book, I got a lot more excited. The story is a bit minimalist, although well-written and enjoyable. I found the story more suspenseful because something like this could actually be possible, given the insecurity and non-accountability of existing e-Voting systems. Security professionals may not learn anything from the book or the accompanying material, but for the general populace with some computer knowledge, there is some 'edu-tainment' value here.

Well written and recommended reading.
Good fiction with additional educational value  Dec 28, 2004
The U.S. moved to electronic voting for the presidential election in 2004. At the same time hackers continue to prove again and again that there are always ways to get into a system and change data. The question now becomes one of whether a really determined hacker can alter the results of such a presidential election. This is the premise of The Mezonic Agenda. It is a fictional story of Chad Davis who spearheads an effort to penetrate the defenses of e-vote hardware from Advice Software, Inc. It is a good read but is also an educational story that allows you to learn many of the fundamentals of software deconstruction, how it is used to hide information, and other ways a hacker might penetrate a system.

In addition to the book there is a CD that includes a game competition to begin in 2005. Hidden within the book and the files on the CD is information that if correctly decrypted allows you to elect yourself president! This is a unique twist that has you directly applying the methods you learn in the book.

The Mezonic Agenda is a recommended read as good fiction, an educational book, and just plain fun. Pick up a copy and enjoy.
"Mezonic Agenda": A good read  Dec 7, 2004
The book, "The Mezonic Agenda: Hacking the Presidency," is not your ordinary read. It is a mystery, hidden in a puzzle, wrapped around a riddle--no joking.

It is important to mention that the lessons taught by the authors via their novel are meant to "...educate, and empower the reader with information about software security and the challenges of implementing modern voting systems...." as quoted from the novel's Preface (page xvii), not to provide a "how to" seminar on hacking.

The book contains 368 pages; however, the novel only takes up 241 of those pages. The book is divided into two parts: Part I is the story itself; Part II is entitled "The Technology behind The Mezonic Agenda," followed by five appendices, each covering their own subject. And, all quite interesting themselves.

The novel's main character, Chad Davis, is a world famous computer security expert, often called upon to beta test the newest and greatest security software by developers. This time, though, Chad is invited to Washington to provide critical, expert testimony on the security and validity of software company Advice Software, Inc., e-vote software. This software is projected to be utilized during the 2004 Presidential Election--high stakes, indeed!

But, that is not all. You are involved, too. Yep, you are right in the middle of it. The novel comes with a CDROM chockfull of files--revealed only when you solve the riddles of the three files provided. In fact, there is a contest which challenges you to decipher all the clues within the story and then use what you have learned to have yourself elected President of the United States. The winners receive a free pass to Black Hat USA 2005. The files require a PC, by the way, but the methods discussed are applicable to all computing environments.

The novel was a good read and held my interest, not really what I expected from a mathematician and a chemical engineer. Of course, the technical parts of the story are quite fascinating and very intriguing...and the interactive piece of the story furnishes some good fun!

Bottom line: Worth the read? Yes. Do I recommend it? Yes.

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