Howard, C.J. (2002), "CyberShock: Surviving Hackers, Phreakers, Identity Thieves, Internet Terrorists and Weapons of Mass Distruction", Kybernetes, Vol. 31 No. 6. https://doi.org/10.1108/k.2002.06731fae.008
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2002, MCB UP Limited
CyberShock: Surviving Hackers, Phreakers, Identity Thieves, Internet Terrorists and Weapons of Mass Distruction
Winn SwartauThunder's Mouth Press, New York2002470 pp.ISBN 1-56025-307-X$16.95
Keywords: Cybernetics, Publications, Internet, Security
The title of the book itself is enough to frighten off any computer user, and in particular anyone who sees the Internet as an integral part of his work. Beware the businessperson, the researcher, the project leader, the military and anyone else who wishes to preserve some element of security in the systems used. Online working as every cybernetician and systemist who reads this review will appreciate is full of dangers and pitfalls. It is amazing that so many projects are completed using the Internet when they are endangered by theft, net terrorists, hackers, and freaks
This book like many others offers strategies that if pursued should make our online activities more secure. What the author takes to be his own strategy is translated, in easily readable form into lists of what the perils are and what can be done to avoid them or deal with them.
Many of us have not spent time trying to hack other peoples systems, but of course, we need to know the ''enemy's'' techniques and strengths before mounting our defence. Winn Schwartau tells what the hacker's tools are and the techniques used before instructing readers on how to be proficient antihackers. What is useful is that contributions from the professionals who include all those listed in the book's title, are included. These include corporate security experts, lawyers, experts on online judicial matters, as well as those working in defence and other government agencies. For the naive user their input is invaluable. Finally, the author provides a listing of some of the current hacking and antihacking Internet sites. This is extensive and saves the user searching the net and other text sources. Also of use is a list of the best current anti- hacking security products and tools being marketed. Such information does, of course, get dated very rapidly but then updates and future editions and imprints will no doubt be published.
The fact that it is virtually impossible to guarantee user privacy on the internet is one of the risks undertaken and is currently leading to much concern. There will be more efficient security products and more secure systems in the future, but meanwhile like the credit card companies and the banks we have to accept a certain level of security loss and plan accordingly. This book helps in such planning in that it tells us about our potential system intruders and offers at least current state-of-the art strategies to repel them.