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

Discussion in 'Computer Security' started by Rob Slade, doting grandpa of Ryan and Trevor, Aug 15, 2005.

  1. 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
    %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

    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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    Rob Slade, doting grandpa of Ryan and Trevor, Aug 15, 2005
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