In a word "sheesh
Seriously this book is so bad, it really is disappointing. It gives you that seriously 1980's kind of movie feel, where everything has a nonsensical but totally technical and jargon filled explanation. The names of characters would more likely be appropriate in a science fiction story, like star wars or something. Tankado, Hulohot, Soshi Kuta? Pardon me but sheesh!
Dan Brown obviously is not as learned in the field of computer technology as he is of history and the arts. This guy probably could have used more help from your average multics luser than the two anonymous ex-NSA folks he claims helped him with the story.
The depiction of computer interfaces is typically Hollywood, and it ain't even a movie or screenplay, this is the novel we are talking about here. There is supposedly a trace program written in LIMBO, which borrows heavily from C and Pascal. What?! Sheesh.
Dido points out that the language exists. But that wasn't what I found amusing, it was like, a super techno thriller novel and you mention C and Pascal, like wow, that would amaze anybody.
Anyway, this trace program supposedly will phone home when it reaches its final destination thus making anonymous remailing useless. Like e-mail can execute code after being received by the final destination MTA.
And this TRANSLTR computer, there is no mention of what software it uses but it's so unrealistic, that just by the act of decrypting, say a ZIP file with a virus, it can get infected itself.
virus, hoooooooo scarryyyy!
The virus does not even have to be specifically written for its OS, as long as it's malicious, it will do its thing. That's why they had to use Gauntlet, another silly concept of having an antivirus filter do its work on code that is encrypted, how the hell can a filter determine if there is a virus on a pile of bits it still can't make sense of?!
During the latter part of the novel, there was a mention of X-eleven, probably a reference to X11R6, which is your basic unix windowing system, but here in the story, it's some sort of security layer. Crap.
Did I mention that they used the concept of worm in a totally incorrect way? All in all, it was a total waste of six hours of my life, which if nothing else would only be worth it if this writeup warns others of this horrible book. Save your $8, go buy yourself something else.
For a better techno thriller, try cryptonomicon.
I also find it hard to believe that what the reviews touted as one of the most realistic techno thrillers about cryptography didn't have a single mention of DES, triple DES, blowfish, twofish, RSA or any of those other arcane cryptography stuff.