REVIEW: "High Tech Crimes Revealed", Steven Branigan
- BKHTCRRV.RVW 20041016
"High Tech Crimes Revealed", Steven Branigan, 2005, 0-321-21873-6,
%A Steven Branigan steveb@...
%C P.O. Box 520, 26 Prince Andrew Place, Don Mills, Ontario M3C 2T8
%I Addison-Wesley Publishing Co.
%O U$29.99/C$42.99 fax: 416-443-0948 800-822-6339 bkexpress@...
%P 412 p.
%T "High Tech Crimes Revealed"
The title is a wee bit misleading: it is not the crimes that are
revealed here as much as it is the investigations, and investigative
techniques and tips. As such, the initial material in the book is
more valuable than many of those that do concentrate on the crimes
Chapter one deals with an insider attack at a telephone company.
Branigan tells the story well (if sometimes a bit flippantly) and also
provides "rules" for an inquiry as the account progresses. The
narrative points out errors that were made (or fortuitously missed)
and notes what might have been done better. A simple case of ISP
(Internet Service Provider) banner defacement turns out to have larger
ramifications in chapter two. But, the supply of rules seems to dry
up, although there are notes reiterating or expanding on them. Some
accidental discoveries result in the discovery of a pornographic
service, in chapter three. Chapter four outlines a hacker sting
Identity theft is superficially reviewed in chapter five, but the
"case" is minor, and only used as a lead in. There are interviews
with a couple of blackhats (which, if you've read Denning's, Gordon's,
or Taylor's work, don't teach very much) in chapter six. Chapter
seven examines the motives of different types of blackhats. It is
difficult to say that this material will help in understanding attacks
or protecting systems. There is a brief history of information
technology in chapter eight. The essay on high tech crime in chapter
nine is a bit redundant at this point. There is also some
questionable material, retailing myths such as Al-Qaida's use of
steganography and the salami scam. Chapter ten describes some common
mistakes in an investigation, and eleven lists an overall, if
simplistic, investigative outline. Chapter twelve finishes off by
recapping miscellaneous thoughts.
The reports of investigations that begin the book are interesting,
particularly since all too many books about computer crime concentrate
on technical details, and forget the legal realities (or, like
Kovacich's and Boni's "High Technology Crime Investigator's Handbook"
(cf. BKHTCRIH.RVW) concentrate on the career and forget the job). It
is disappointing that Branigan's work trails off into more vague
copyright Robert M. Slade, 2004 BKHTCRRV.RVW 20041016
====================== (quote inserted randomly by Pegasus Mailer)
rslade@... slade@... rslade@...
Fuddle duddle. - Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Feb. 16, 1971
http://victoria.tc.ca/techrev or http://sun.soci.niu.edu/~rslade