"I-Way Robbery", William C. Boni/Gerald L. Kovacich, 1999,
%A William C. Boni
%A Gerald L. Kovacich
%C 225 Wildwood Street, Woburn, MA 01801-2041
%O U$34.95 781-904-2500 fax: 781-904-2620 http://www.bh.com
%P 240 p.
%T "I-Way Robbery: Crime on the Internet"
First off, the preface tells us that the book is aimed at security and
law enforcement professionals needing basic information about Internet
criminal activity. Then the text is supposed to be good for
protecting corporate information systems connected to the net. In
addition, the volume is promoted for college courses in information
systems security management and criminal justice. Finally, small and
home based businesses are to use it in place of security personnel for
protecting themselves from I-way robbery. A rather tall order for a
fairly small book.
Chapter one traces history from Adam, through the agrarian age, via
the industrial age, to the information age, ending up in the Internet
age without having imparted much knowledge of any significance. We
are told, in chapter two, that the Internet has had an impact on
society. A very strained attempt is made, in chapter three, to draw a
parallel between rise of the gangs of the thirties (Bonnie and Clyde,
Dillinger, Capone, ummm ...) prompted by the interstate highway system
(built thirty years later) and the rise in crime (left undefined)
prompted by the development of the Internet. Chapter four rigorously
defines Internet crime as crime involving the Internet. The case for
the importance of I-way robbery is not made persuasively: aside from
the usual diatribe on pornography, most of the time is spent talking
about online gambling. A grab bag of people who may (or may not) use
computers for less than beneficent purposes is listed in chapter five.
Some potential targets are given in chapter six. Chapter seven starts
to touch on actual penetration techniques, and includes such advanced
technologies as the BASIC source code for a demon dialer. A
collection of short references to news stories about crimes, laws, and
errors that have some tenuous connection to the net makes up chapter
eight. An attempt to analyze the growth in I-way crime, in chapter
nine, has little significance since most of the foundational material
has not been clearly presented. Protective measures are mentioned in
chapter ten, but without the conceptual background the text is not of
much use. Given no groundwork upon which to build, chapter eleven's
look at the future can be nothing but blue sky speculation.
There are attempts at humour in the book. Few do anything to support
the material under discussion, nothing is wildly funny, and most are
difficult to understand. Page forty eight, for example, tells us that
certain information is based on "a SWAG (and we all know what those
are!)" (If you don't know what they are don't feel stupid: you might
want to take a wild guess.)
The text is undisciplined, unfocussed, and difficult to understand.
Other than presenting a vague warning about an ill-defined threat, it
presents no help to those who may need to protect information in an
copyright Robert M. Slade, 1999 BKIWAYRB.RVW 990711
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There is no such thing as `computer illiteracy;'
only illiteracy itself - Slade's Law of Computer Literacy