Recently, I got some books for my birthday, since I could not think of anything much to ask for, even though I really need a printer, now that I think about it. Anyway, most of the books I asked for were continuations of series I have already been following. In this post, I will review one of the books I received, which is Bloody Monday volume 2.
As I have covered, the synopsis of this series in my review of volume 1, I will not cover that part. In this volume Fujimaru tries to validate Maya's alibi, although those who read volume 1 will know the truth already. Later, Mako, with the help of instructions from Fujimaru, gathers information for cracking a transformer substation. That is all I can say without spoiling things too much.
As I have already stated, I have a strong interest in technology, so this series caught my eye. This was definitely exciting to see Fujimaru get to work on verifying Maya's albi, although I already knew something he did not, but that was because I am much further ahead of the series' official translation. Fujimaru definitely does come with some neat tricks using obvious knowledge that those who follow technology know about and the suspense still keeps me interested. However, that is all that I can say that is good about it, since I do not want to spoil too much.
My biggest problem that is made very obvious in this volume, and many tech experts can confirm this, is that Fujimaru does not seem to be a genius hacker. He assumes too much stuff and apparently gets it right. I can overlook this, as this is an interesting story, but I took a computer security class during my studies for my computer degree. It may not have been advanced studies in computer security, but even I can tell that he is just assuming way too much. For example, he does not do any investigation on the operating system of the target or even open ports, but he certainly does use pretty much utilize packets, which is data used to communicate between nodes on a network. However, the ideas are certainly interesting. I do not do any cracking work, so in my stories, such incidents usually happen off screen, which works out, since cracking has never been a major point of my stories. This work, however, should have done a bit more research in proper cracking techniques, as a cracker will not succeed if he or she assumes that everyone and their dog runs Windows and/or IIS. Remember when Google got attacked? Google does not utilize IIS, instead it supposedly uses Apache, which is the dominant server software on the Internet and runs on more than just Windows. The group responsible had to retrieve the necessary data before such an attack could happen. Outside of the fact that Fujimaru's abilities can be questionable, I do not see anything bad about the story yet.
The questionability of Fujimaru truly being a genius hacker does not really detract much as the story is intriguing, but I highly suggest people that are following this series not to take the hacking so seriously, as there is a lot of things that need to be done, especially if the target is a single entity, such as a company like Google. The story still holds my interest and has not yet lost it, so it is doing a lot right. I still stand by my recommendation to those interested in computers and fiction that involves spies, terrorists, etc.
What is your opinion of Bloody Monday? Did I get anything wrong? Feel free to comment.