Perhaps the scariest story of insufficient computer security and cybercrime yet is the true tale of Phantom Dialer. He accessed university and military research centers, banks, even the computers that controlled central California's dams. His actions could have put tens of thousands of lives at risk. And what makes it so frightening is that he was not a criminal or computing genius. He was a curious, persistent, and mentally-challenged young man who never truly understood his own actions. So if he
could do that, what might a determined terrorist do? Because, as Charles Mann and David Freedman show, advances in the Internet have been making it easier, not harder, for security crackers to go where they're not wanted. The book reads like a techno-thriller--from the discovery of a small cyberbreak-in to the massive manhunt that tracked him down and the troubled birth of the FBI's computer crime squad--complete with all the humor and poignancies of real human events.
From Library Journal
Freedman, editor of Inc. Technology magazine, and Mann (Noah's Choice, LJ 2/15/95) have collaborated to produce a rather aimless account of a widespread series of related and mostly unpublicized computer-hacking incidents perpetrated by a cracker (computer hacker) known as "Phantomd." Basing their book on numerous personal interviews with network system administrators and "hundreds of megabytes of computer logs" (yawn), the authors presumably wish to convey some sort of "ominous warning about the Internet's fatal flaws." While network administrators worried about system security issues may find these accounts fascinating, average online mavens will find them dull and plodding. The epilog succumbs to preachiness on the topic of computer and network security. More riveting accounts of computer crime can be found in two books from Jonathan Littman, The Fugitive Game (LJ 1/96) and The Watchman (LJ 2/15/97).?Joe Accardi, Northeastern Illinois Univ. Lib., Chicago
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.