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Secrets of Computer Espionage: Tactics and Countermeasures Paperback – June 20, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-0764537103 ISBN-10: 0764537105 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (June 20, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764537105
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764537103
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,104,410 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

&an informative book which should help keep those defences up and those intruders out& -- PC Utilities, No.39, 2003

&informative&entertaining&next time you go to your local bookseller, locate a copy. I bet you'll be hooked& -- Linux Journal, 22 August 2003

“…provides insightful details backed up by a wealth of real-life examples….clearly a valuable addition to your bookshelf…” (www.net-security.org, May 2004)

“…surprisingly clear given the degree of difficulty of his topic,…we suggest this practical book top managers…” (www.getabstract.com, May 2004)

"…an informative book which should help keep those defences up and those intruders out…" (PC Utilities, No.39, 2003)

“…will definitely open your eyes…quirky case studies and good coverage of latest technology…” (Internetworks, November 2003)

“…informative…entertaining…next time you go to your local bookseller, locate a copy. I bet you’ll be hooked…” (Linux Journal, 22 August 2003)

&an informative book which should help keep those defences up and those intruders out& -- PC Utilities, No.39, 2003

&informative&entertaining&next time you go to your local bookseller, locate a copy. I bet you'll be hooked& -- Linux Journal, 22 August 2003

&will definitely open your eyes&quirky case studies and good coverage of latest technology& -- Internetworks, November 2003

From the Back Cover

Is someone spying on you?

You might be surprised

It could be your boss, your competition, or a private investigator, but it could just as easily be a foreign intelligence agent–or the whiz kid down the street. More and more people today want to know what’s on your computer, your PDA, your cell phone, or your wireless network. And as soon as one vulnerable chink in your security is identified and plugged, a new spy tool or method will arise to circumvent the countermeasure.

Joel McNamara takes you inside the mind of the computer espionage artist–amateur or professional–and shows you appropriate defenses for a wide array of potential vulnerabilities.

This is not just another book on network security. This is the book that teaches you to think like a spy, because that’s the only way to outwit one.

  • Analyze your risk of becoming a target of espionage
  • Recognize and lock down the vulnerabilities of instant messaging, Web browsers, e-mail inboxes, and address books
  • Understand where electronic eavesdropping becomes criminal–and where it’s perfectly legal
  • Discover how spies circumvent security measures and learn how to protect yourself
  • Find out how law enforcement recovers evidence from a suspect computer
  • See how a determined spy can compromise the average fax machine, paper shredder, cell phone, voice-mail, pager, PDA, and digital camera
  • Learn how the government uses computer espionage techniques to combat drug lords, organized crime, foreign terrorists, and industrial espionage
  • Explore some of the top-secret national spying projects like TEMPEST, ECHELON, Carnivore/DCS-1000, intelligence-gathering worms and viruses, and what impact they may have on you

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Warning: This book will make you paranoid.
Alan Olsen
The book stresses the vulnerabilities and threats, explains in details the evolution of spy tactics, network eavesdropping and provide countermeasures as well.
Dror Guzman
Machinic Bypasses of Personal Anonymity The distinction between personal anonymity, consumer anonymity and machine anonymity is worth pondering.
John Young

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Dean Smith on August 18, 2003
Format: Paperback
As co-owner of a small business I read "Secrets of Computer Espionage" with interest, particularly since I thought that running a firewall and virus protection made my system fairly safe from intrusion. Hardly.
Consider the book required reading if you run any flavor of Microsoft Windows and need to keep private information private, and especially if your computers support external data connections (read: internet or external access).
McNamara covers a wide range of possible computer attacks from the mundane to the geeky-obscure. And he discusses the reasonable likelihood of each different type of attack along with how to identify and defend against them.
He also keeps the book common-sense, such as don't invest tens of thousands of dollars in attack-hardened hardware and software if you leave your building unlocked. He talks about physical access restrictions, company security policies, and other considerations regarding the ultimate goal of keeping the contents of your computer system safe - points that some computer security books overlook.
Finally, I love that McNamara injects humor, a conversational tone and many case studies into his book. It turns a potentially dry topic into an enjoyable read.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Alan Olsen on June 26, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Warning: This book will make you paranoid.
It shows you just what kind of problems you face in securing your computers and life in the current legal climate. it shows just what can be done to you legally without papers being served on you. The current laws concerning wiretaping and gathering of evidence. How black bag operations are planned and committed. How your systems can be monitored in many many ways.
The book is current as of 2003 and includes information on the oxymoronically named "Patriot Act", as well as CALEA and other laws that remove your privacy from people with guns and an excuse.
And then there are the illegal ways.
The book does into a level of depth that the current law enforcement community would not want you to know. And you do want to know, even if you don't have anything to hide. (And everyone does have things to protect. Your reputation, your credit information, where you keep your money, not to mention those things that may be unpopular with someone somewhere.)
Well worth getting if you have any interest in security, computers or otherwise.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Rolf Dobelli HALL OF FAME on April 21, 2004
Format: Paperback
You and your computer face a dizzying array of security threats, writes tech consultant Joel McNamara. Competitors, cops, crooks and even disgruntled kin would love a peek at your hard drive. But don't hyperventilate just yet. If you calmly analyze the desirability and vulnerability of your secrets, you can figure out how to protect yourself. McNamara's prose is surprisingly clear given the degree of difficulty of his topic, and he offers a number of useful sidebars, charts and examples from inside the tech business to juice up his instructional tome. We suggest this practical book to managers charged with protecting corporate data, and to people who are unsure just how safe their computers are.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mike Galos on November 25, 2003
Format: Paperback
Joel McNamara's book is one of the very, very, few books that I classify as a "Must Read" for anyone involved in business or technology. This book does an amazing job of avoiding the "paranoia for paranoia's sake" tone seen so often in computer security books while still taking the issues seriously and discussing them intellegently.
The conversational tone is fun and often quite funny while not making the user feel talked down to. And Mr. McNamara does an equally great job of explaining very complex topics in way that works for both extremely sophisticated computer technology professionals and non-techies alike. I've brought this book around for side-discussions in the seminars I've given since it came out and my students, ranging from small business owners to 30+ year professional tech veterans in Fortune 50s have learned new and important lessons from it. For a book to address all these audiences is rare. For a book to succeed and be invaluable for all of them is virtually unheard of. This book succeeds amazingly well.
I've not only read the book through in one sitting, I keep referring back to it and it's incredibly useful web site on a regular basis.
Joel, thank you for writing one of the key books of the year!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ben Rothke on June 1, 2005
Format: Paperback
Judging from the title, Secrets of Computer Espionage: Tactics and Countermeasures would appear to be geared to governments, security agencies, or high-level corporations. In fact, as the author makes clear, anyone with an Internet connection is a potential target of online espionage-even by such "mundane" means as viruses, worms, and phishing attacks-and this book is addressed to that huge audience.

Just who is spying on whom? The author explains that the typical person might be a target of bosses, friends, family members, hackers, and many others. Even people with nothing confidential or of value on their computers risk getting caught up in espionage and other cyber capers. For instance, hackers can use their computers as vehicles for staging attacks or as a location for storing illicit files, such as child pornography. And as more cell phones and PDAs connect to the Internet, the risks multiply.

What may be disturbing to some readers is that every computer device and peripheral provides at least one avenue of attack. The author explains many of these schemes, such as keystroke loggers and cleartext file transfers via file transfer protocol (FTP). In addition, operating-system and application-level vulnerabilities constitute even more ways that systems can be compromised.

Despite the grim picture painted by the author, the book isn't intended to make readers paranoid, but rather to acquaint them with the many risks posed by the Internet. This excellent book shows that someone quite possibly is out to get you, but it provides the tools to protect yourself.
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