BOOKS: Hacker Attacks

Management Today, December 18, 2002 | Go to article overview

BOOKS: Hacker Attacks


Cyber crime is rife and on the increase, learns Steven Philippsohn, but who's to blame?

The Art of Deception

By Kevin Mitnick

John Wiley pounds 19.95

Hacking is the prime criminal activity of the 21st century. It is used by criminal organisations, terrorists, political activists and business competitors. Although there are occasional instances of hacking to demonstrate the vulnerability of operating systems, it is usually a means to intimidate, injure and damage society and business.

A CSI/FBI Computer Security Survey in 2002 reported that the most serious losses were caused by theft of information or financial fraud. On retail sites especially, hackers can access competitors' trade secrets as well as customers' data, which can be used to purchase goods. Indeed, credit card losses in the UK increased by 53% in the two years to August 2002 and now total about pounds 430 million.

As Kevin Mitnick points out in this book, his surveys show that most organisations have been victims of security breaches. Indeed, Mitnick, who has considerable experience in obtaining unauthorised access to computer systems (he served a prison term as a result), produces a comprehensive guide that graphically demonstrates the pivotal role humans play in devising and preventing a security attack on a commercial organisation. …

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