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[techbooks] REVIEW: "I-Way Robbery", William C. Boni/Gerald L. Kovacich

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  • Rob Slade, doting grandpa of Ryan and Tr
    BKIWAYRB.RVW 990711 I-Way Robbery , William C. Boni/Gerald L. Kovacich, 1999, 0-7506-7029-0, U$34.95 %A William C. Boni %A Gerald L. Kovacich %C 225
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 23, 1999
      BKIWAYRB.RVW 990711

      "I-Way Robbery", William C. Boni/Gerald L. Kovacich, 1999,
      0-7506-7029-0, U$34.95
      %A William C. Boni
      %A Gerald L. Kovacich
      %C 225 Wildwood Street, Woburn, MA 01801-2041
      %D 1999
      %G 0-7506-7029-0
      %I Butterworth-Heinemann
      %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
      interconnected world.

      copyright Robert M. Slade, 1999 BKIWAYRB.RVW 990711

      ====================== (quote inserted randomly by Pegasus Mailer)
      rslade@... rslade@... slade@... p1@...
      There is no such thing as `computer illiteracy;'
      only illiteracy itself - Slade's Law of Computer Literacy
      http://victoria.tc.ca/techrev or http://sun.soci.niu.edu/~rslade
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