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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » TANGLED WEB: Tales of Digital Crime from the Shadows of Cyberspace » User review

Great Summary...Too Long...Somewhat Outdated

  • Mar 2, 2004
  • by
I just finished reading Tangled Web by Richard Power. I thoroughly enjoyed most of it. He presents a very technical, a possibly boring subject in a very realistic and easy-to-read light. Many cyber-crime books either blow the topic way out of proportion and pander to the uneducated and gullible. They would have the same sort of audience that stocked up on supplies in the waning days of 1999 waiting for the Y2K bug to end the world. Powers does not do that. Nor does he play the issue down as some have. His information is backed by statistics, mostly presented in easy-to-read summary charts and tables. He prefaces the discussions of the various aspects of crimes with anecdotes that draw you into the topic, making you want to learn more. Overall, it is a very accurate, informative, and fun read.
My primary two concerns with the book that kept me from the 5-star rating are (1) The chapters are long winded. (2) Some of the information is outdated.
I wish that the author would have cut every section down in size by about 25%. Remember high school, when the teacher assigned a 5-page essay but you only had 4 pages of information? I don't know what the cause is, but this seems to be what Power did for many of the chapters. It takes away from the readability, but not significantly enough for me to suggest against this book.
Simply due to the rapidly changing environment of networking, computer technology, and the internet, this book is necessarily mildly outdated, since it was written in 2000. However, this problem is not great. This is not a technical
"how to stop cybercrime" book. It is more of an overview of what cybercrime is, what it can look like, and what it isn't. Therefore, even if the nuances of the crimes or the nuances of the preventions have changed, the bird's-eye view of them has changed very little. This also should not keep you from this book.
If you are interested in the subject buy this book. Now that so many copies are available so inexpensively by purchasing used, there is nothing to keep from reading this.

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More TANGLED WEB: Tales of Digital ... reviews
review by . September 25, 2000
Nothing sums up the power of the Internet more than the realization that someone who cannot legally own property can find programs that can be used to cause hundreds of millions of dollars of digital damage. Not since the days of young monarchs has it been possible for a teenager to do such things. However, while tales like this get the most publicity, it is unfortunate that it hides a grim reality. Most attacks of this type do nothing but exploit security holes caused by poor design or sloppy programming. &nb …
About this book


Part true crime, part call to arms,Tangled Web: Tales of Digital Crime from the Shadows of Cyberspacelooks over the firewall from both sides to examine the brave new crooks and their pursuers. Author Richard Power, editorial director of San Francisco's Computer Security Institute, is simultaneously engaging and shaky--a rare and lovely combination. Between interviews with hackers and security experts, Power plies the reader with numbers that suggest that the world's networks are swarming with money-sucking leeches, most of which are never even noticed, and certainly not caught. If his voice never quite becomes hysterical, it's to preserve his credibility; after all, Power's Institute needs a strong public awareness of cybercrime in order to stay in business.

This is not to say that Tangled Web is inaccurate or strongly biased. The author gives credit, where it is due, to law enforcement agencies and security consultants who have made some genuine progress in preventing crime and apprehending criminals. Fortunately, it's tough, as of yet, to commit violent crimes over a network, but the reader still will find reason to think twice before glossing over security procedures, even at home. Power provides example countermeasures for all desired levels of connection, value, and privacy; and, while some are out of reach of individuals and smaller businesses, others cost only a little time or convenience. As with health insurance, it's better to take care of it beforehand, and Tangled...

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ISBN-10: 078972443X
ISBN-13: 978-0789724434
Author: Richard Power
Publisher: Que Corporation

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