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Can A TPF System Be Hacked ?

Come on, I bet most of you have sat around on a boring night shift or supporting an implementation that was going without a hitch and wondered how you could wreak havoc on your TPF system...?

Well now someone has written a book about doing just that. Long time TPF'er Andy Rowland has just had his first novel published called:

"Dancing on the Brink of the World"
~ A CTL-000001 Catastrophic TPF Novel

Rest assured that as soon as I have read the book I'll be back with a proper review...

Press Release:

"Computer expert Conor Morgan devises the ultimate wordwide credit card heist: the biggest robbery in criminal history. But who is ultimately the hunted, and at what cost?
 $ $ $ $
Conor Morgan has the perfect plan: recruit a team with hearts of larceny to pull off the greatest techno-heist in modern banking history.
The stakes: close to a trillion dollars.
The target: neXus, the world's premier credit and debit card payments system, operated by the power of invisible money.
With futurist weapons inspired by Zulu and Mongol battle strategies, Morgan's crew crashes neXus computer systems worldwide in a daring transcontinental robbery. But a Delta hit team of Enforcers hunt them down as Morgan's plan unravels. Dancing on the Brink of the World is interwoven with elements of the mysterious. Recurrent prime numbers and echoing supersymmetries converge in a morality tale of friendship and trust, betrayal and vengeance. In San Francisco and London, Morgan's team is on the run from the most sinister assassin since Jack the Ripper, with a ransom of untraceable diamonds, a dazzlingly erotic heroine and the ghostly messengers of ancient Celtic gods.

"Authentic as today's dispatches from the 21st century battleground of cyber warfare, chilling and funny and brilliantly observed. A tour de force, infused with the carousing spirits of dreamy Irish rebels. Brendan Behan would be proud."
 ~ Kristine Rosemary, author of "The War Against Gravity"
$ $ $ $
"Credit card crime is hot news," Andrew Rowland said at his home in London. "My novel describes the biggest credit card robbery in criminal history. It takes the lid off the way the credit card industry works, and reveals how vulnerable the banking computer systems really are. In the best traditions of Clancy and Forsyth, the technical details are based upon meticulous research and my extensive qualifications as a mainframe computer realtime banking systems expert. Every aspect of the robbery plan - from the electromagnetic bombs, to the ability to bypass biometric ID passports and fingerprint intrusion systems - would work in real life. As a former Silicon Valley systems programmer I gained an intimate knowledge of all aspects of card fraud and the interchange between the worldwide credit and banking industries. A credit card robbery of this magnitude, with authentic technical and location detail, is perhaps unprecedented in heist and thriller novels of this genre."
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"Bankers who hire money hungry geniuses should not always express surprise and amazement when some of them turn around with brilliant, creative and illegal means of making money."
~ Linda Davies, investment banker and bond trader turned novelist, in a 1997 speech to central bankers and financiers at a conference on the European Monetary Union in Amsterdam.

The story for Dancing on the Brink of the World came about in a similar way. Part of Andrew's job description as a realtime systems troubleshooter in San Francisco was a remit to detect bank and card fraud within the company, or any of its 21,000 member banks worldwide. During graveyard shift lulls, Andrew and his colleagues brainstormed ingenious ways whereby opportunists with inside information could rob the major credit card companies blind. Andrew ran the novel's scenario past some of the best minds in the business. First they laughed. Then they thought about the audacity and complexity of the plot. Unanimously, they agreed: this could really work. That's when Andrew began amassing authentic detail to plot his novel about a neXus takedown, a financial thriller with a metaphysical twist, set in the no-limit, high stakes world of computer crime, with San Francisco and London backdrops.
$ $ $ $
Since 1977 Andrew Rowland has worked on three continents as an airline and banking realtime computer expert. Past TPF consultancies include British Airways (London), Saudi Arabian Airlines (Jeddah), Galileo (Swindon), Continental Airlines (Miami), Amadeus (Stuttgart, Miami), SNCF (Lille, Paris), American Airlines (Tulsa), VISA (San Francisco, McLean), and United Airlines (Denver). Andrew spent seven years as a systems troubleshooter for the world's dominant card payments platform, headquartered in Silicon Valley. He lives in London and writes online about geopolitics and society.
This is his first novel. Copyright 2006, Andrew Rowland. Published by iUniverse Inc., (Lincoln, New York, Shanghai): $29.95.
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