REVIEW: "Surviving Cyberwar", Richard Stiennon
- BKSRCYWR.RVW 20110325
"Surviving Cyberwar", Richard Stiennon, 2010, 978-1-60590-688-1
%A Richard Stiennon
%C 4501 Forbes Blvd, #200, Lanham, MD 20706
%G 978-1-60590-688-1 1-60590-674-3
%I Government Institutes/Scarecrow Press/Rowman & Littlefield Publ.
%O 800-462-6420 www.govinstpress.com
%O Audience n- Tech 1 Writing 1 (see revfaq.htm for explanation)
%P 180 p.
%T "Surviving Cyberwar"
The introduction is the customarily (for books on currently "hot"
topics) vague warning that there is danger out there.
Chapter one, according to the title, is supposed to talk about the
"Titan Rain" attacks. In reality it concentrates on Shawn Carpenter
and his personal problems, and says very little either about details
of the technology, or ideas for defence. China, and various
activities in espionage (and diplomatic disagreements with the US), is
the topic of chapter two. (One story is not about China.) Although
entitled "Countering Cyber Espionage," chapter three is just about
security tools and malware. Chapter four lists random aspects of, and
attacks on, email. The Pentagon is dealt with, in similarly haphazard
fashion, in chapter five.
A few wars, or tense "situations," are mentioned in chapter six, along
with some possibly related computer involvement. Chapter seven
titularly promises DDoS defence, but mostly just talks about
distributed denial of service attacks, along with a mention of the
error of using BGP (Border Gateway Protocol) as a routing protocol.
Aspects of social networking, mostly in support of activism, are noted
in chapter eight. Chapter nine is a not-very-useful account of the
Estonian cyber-attack of 2007, ten briefly mentions some others in
eastern Europe, and eleven mentions the Georgian attack. There is a
rambling dissertation on war and various computer security problems in
chapter twelve. Chapter thirteen appears to be an attempt to provide
some structure to the concept of cyberwar, but establishes very little
of any significance. Preparations, by some nations, for cyberwarfare
are mentioned in chapter fourteen. Most of the detail is for the US,
and there isn't much even for them. A final chapter says that the
existence of cyberwarfare could cause troubles for lots of people.
The content and writing is rambling and disorganized. This reads more
like a collection of fifteen lengthy, but not terribly well
researched, magazine articles than an actual book. There are many
more informative resources, such as Dorothy Dennings' "Information
Warfare and Security" (cf. BKINWRSC.RVW) (which, despite predating
this work by a dozen years, still manages to present more useful
information). Stiennon does not add anything substantial to the
literature on this topic.
copyright, Robert M. Slade 2011 BKSRCYWR.RVW 20110325
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It is by the goodness of God that in our country we have those
three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of
conscience, and the prudence never to practice either of them.
- Mark Twain (1835-1910), Following the Equator (1897)