"Ford's The Cipher is a thrill-a-minute ride. A very cool read."--David Baldacci You think your emails are private' Your credit card number is secure' That stock trades, government secrets, and nuclear codes are safe' ... th1nk aga1n. Robert 'Smiles' Smylie is not a genius. He feels like he's surrounded by them, though, from his software mogul dad to his brainy girlfriend to his oddball neighbor Ben, a math prodigy. When Ben cracks an ancient, real-life riddle central to modern data encryption systems, he suddenly holds the power to unlock every electronic secret in the world'and Smiles finally has a chance to prove his own worth. Smiles hatches a plan to protect Ben from the government agents who will stop at nothing to get their hands on his discovery. But as he races from a Connecticut casino to the streets of Boston, enlisting the help of an alluring girl, Smiles comes to realize the most explosive secrets don't lie between the covers of Ben's notebook'they're buried in his own past. Eerily close to reality and full of shocking twists, this techno-thriller reveals how easily the private can become public, and just how dangerous it can be to encrypt our personal histories.