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Stealing the Network: How to Own an Identity 1st Edition
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While not the best book in the series (I believe the second book, How to Own A Continent, holds this distinction). But it is still a very good read, offering insights into how your identity is not only vulnerable to theft by individual hackers, but how these hackers may be just a pawn in larger attacks by organized crime and other groups. Like the first two books in the series, this book is presented as fiction laced with technical fact and education. The main characters are much the same, but you are given new insights and backstories about them.
You may think you know a lot about social engineering, but this art form takes on new meaning and perspective when you read Chapter 6, "The Java Script Cafe". In fact this chapter provides a good back drop that leads to revelations on how a hacker might turn the tables on the very people they were trying to serve. The book may also make you think twice about how much the government may not be on your side in protecting you identity, whether it be by siding with the companies that buy and sell your information in the marketplace, or even some unnamed agencies that you think are working for you.
It all makes for a very good read, but at the same time it does not flow together as well as the first two titles in the series. This may be a case of just too many authors contributing to one book, which is unfortunate.Read more ›
Since this is written in novel form, listing the table of contents wouldn't shed much light on what you're getting in the book. Suffice it to say that there is a lot of technical detail about particular hacks and social engineering attacks. The different writers cover various areas such as encryption and ciphers, hacking personal wi-fi networks to gain identity info, using credit card offers to help build alternate identities, and forensic examination of devices like fax machines and printers to gain knowledge of prior activity.
From a review perspective, I wasn't quite as engrossed in this book as I was with the prior installments. For one, this tries to pick up where Own a Continent leaves off. Many of the characters and incidents in this book got their beginning there. If you could read the two back-to-back, you might find better continuity. As it's been awhile since I read Continent, the story line wasn't as fresh to me as it could have been. Also, the basic storyline is rather vague and hard to follow. I kept thinking that the book was like a "certain type" of movie where the story line is only there to transition between the "action" scenes. While I'm not expecting NYT Top 10 Fiction material, I was hoping for something a little more cohesive.Read more ›
1) Apparent lack of proofing whatsoever. In some cases it appeared that the author had stopped typing mid-sentence and picked up some time later, forgetting what exactly they had said because they had previously stopped typing mid-sentence. (re-read for example) At one point a whole paragraph was in there twice in a row. This sort of thing frazzled me a bit as I was reading it, and took away from the immersion to an extent. Each chapter was written by a different author so this is not a consitant trend through the entire book. There is some good writing in there as well.
2) More story, less technical stuff. This seemed a bit more 'novel-y' than the previous books, I kind of didn't like that aspect of it. That was just me though. Some of it was pretty good though, and a fun read, like the chapter about Knoll Jr. as well as the Blacktower chapter. All-in-all, I'd have to say that I liked the first STN [:box] the best, but that's just me. The cohesiveness of the story between chapters seemed to be better in this one [Identity] than STN:Continent, though.
Overall I give it three stars because I am a grammar nazi but you might enjoy it more. I recommend it if you've read the previous ones.
It's a scary thought that this much information (and therefore power) is so easily available online.
The book makes an interesting point about how some people will be secure in protecting their personal information, but then post genealogy information online freely without realizing its value to crackers.
Learning to "know your enemy" in the computer realm requires a pirate's intuition, savvy? Chapter 2 is a neat scenario for creating and cracking codes. My wonder is where did all the money comes from and what was his father up to? Chapter 3 sounds frightfully easy to do - knowledge is power.
The stories are compelling and interesting, arousing both fear and intrigue. This shows how close fiction and real life can be. Parts of the book and the ending are somewhat hard to follow and I found the ending disappointing. Although you get the endgame of the story, it'd like to learn more about the lessons learned from such an experience. In thinking through all these activities, what can be learned for prevention of identity theft for our individual, business, and government responsibilities?
The book doesn't fully address the added possibilities of fraud, cyber stalking, information abuse, blackmail, and spamming that these cyber capabilities allow.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is a good read for people who are technical, but not information security experts. I see from Amazon that there are other books in the series; I will definitely be... Read morePublished on December 20, 2007 by Forrest Guest
I give it 5 stars because not only is it a great hacker thriller but the use of character names from the 80s movie Real Genius cracks me up. Its like the movie's sequel.Published on February 7, 2007 by Mr. Judgemental
This book is hard to put down! It was like looking into a window of the underground world that most people, even those in the Information Security Industry, are unaware exists. Read morePublished on November 1, 2006 by S. Rivera
I reviewed the first Stealing book in May 2003, and the second in September 2004. I liked the two earlier books, and the third book -- Stealing the Network: How to 0wn an Identity... Read morePublished on March 10, 2006 by Richard Bejtlich