- Summaries (4)
Martin Bishop is the head of a group of experts who specialize in testing security systems. When he is blackmailed by government agents into stealing a top secret black box, the team find themselves embroiled in a game of danger and intrigue. After they recover the box, they discover that it has the capability to decode all existing encryption systems around the world, and that the agents who hired them didn't work for the government after all.
In 1969, the idealistic hackers Martin Brice and Cosmos use the computer to transfer funds from conservative politicians to liberal causes. Martin goes out of the building to buy a pizza for them and Cosmos is arrested. Twenty years later, Cosmos has died in prison and Brice uses the alias Martin "Marty" Bishop to run a company that tests security systems with the specialists Donald Crease, a former CIA agent; the blind Irwin 'Whistler' Emery, a specialist in sounds; Darren 'Mother' Roskow, an awesome technician who believes in theories of conspiracy; and Carl Arbogast, a young genius. One day, the NSA agents Dick Gordon and Buddy Wallace, who know his real identity, visit Martin's office and blackmail him. They want Martin and his crew to retrieve a black box from Dr. Gunter Janek, a mathematician who developed a cryptographic system for the Russian government in a project called Setec Astronomy. In return, they would clear his name and pay Martin and his team US$175,000.00. Martin asks his former girlfriend Liz to help him and soon they recover the box and deliver it to the NSA agents. Soon Martin learns that he was lured by Dick and Wallace, and Janek, who was murdered, was indeed working for the National Security Agency on a system capable of breaking any computer encryption. Further, he has been incriminated in the murder of Janek and two other men and his only way out of the trap is once again recovering the black box.
A group of security analysts are offered a job by the CIA and when they are reluctant, pressure is brought to bear by the threat to disclose the identity of their leader, a 60s radical with outstanding warrants. A chip exists that will allow any computer to be cracked, and organized crime will soon control it, though sudden changes in their police records suggest that it is already operational.
A security pro finds his past coming back to haunt him, when he and his unique team are tasked with retrieving a particularly important item.
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