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REVIEW: "Cyber Spying", Ted Fair/Michael Nordfelt/Sandra Ring

 
 
Rob Slade, doting grandpa of Ryan and Trevor
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      08-15-2005
BKCBRSPY.RVW 20050614

"Cyber Spying", Ted Fair/Michael Nordfelt/Sandra Ring, 2005,
1-931836-41-8, U$39.95/C$57.95
%A Ted Fair
%A Michael Nordfelt
%A Sandra Ring
%C 800 Hingham Street, Rockland, MA 02370
%D 2005
%G 1-931836-41-8
%I Syngress Media, Inc.
%O U$39.95/C$57.95 781-681-5151 fax: 781-681-3585 www.syngress.com
%O http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS...bsladesinterne
http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/...bsladesinte-21
%O http://www.amazon.ca/exec/obidos/ASI...bsladesin03-20
%O Audience n- Tech 1 Writing 1 (see revfaq.htm for explanation)
%P 439 p.
%T "Cyber Spying"

Chapter one seems to be a search for grounds to justify spying on your
family. The reasons seem to boil down to a) everybody likes to snoop,
b) you should spy on your spouse (because everybody likes sex), and c)
it's always OK to spy on your kids (you're just looking out for them,
after all). (Somehow it is easy to believe that the authors all met
at the CIA.) We are supposed to learn about the basics of spying, in
chapter two, but instead get vague advice on planning, plus
hypothetical stories. A kind of terse review of the parts of
computers is in chapter three: chapter four provides slightly more
usable information about network operations. Chapter five starts out
with an extremely simplistic set of instructions for navigating around
your computer (if I am going to get spied on, maybe I *do* want it to
be these guys), moves into a list of recommended utilities, and also
discusses some issues that don't seem to fit the level of the other
material at all. (If you don't know how to run Windows Explorer, how
are you going to know the difference between an Ethernet hub and an
Ethernet switch?) Areas to obtain data from a computer are listed in
chapter six. Oddly, there is much "low hanging fruit" that is not
mentioned, while a number of the items suggested can be defeated quite
easily. Web browsing, in chapter seven, repeats a great deal of
material from five and six. Email, in chapter eight, also reiterates
a lot of earlier content. Instant messaging and clients are discussed
in chapter nine. Chapter ten reviews other spying techniques and more
advanced computer technologies. Some elementary means to make spying
more difficult are mentioned in chapter twelve.

Once again, the lack of a stated audience makes it very difficult to
assess whether this book does its job. It certainly isn't for
professionals: neither security nor law enforcement people will get
much out of this work. For people who want to spy on their spouses or
significant others, well, I have no sympathy if they waste their money
that way. If parents are planning to spy on children, I would suggest
that there are other, better, means of protecting your kids online,
and if you really need to know the content that is provided in this
text, then your kids are probably going to be able to get around you
anyway.

For the tin-foil hat crowd, you may be comforted to find that CIA
staff can't do any better than this. (On the other hand, maybe it's a
conspiracy to make us all *think* that the CIA is that dumb ...)

copyright Robert M. Slade, 2005 BKCBRSPY.RVW 20050614

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