TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Book Review: "Cyber Spying", Ted Fair/Michael Nordfelt/Sandra Ring

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

Rob Slade (
Mon, 15 Aug 2005 08:45:20 -0800


"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

====================== (quote inserted randomly by Pegasus Mailer)
Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life.
- Immanuel Kant or

Post Followup Article Use your browser's quoting feature to quote article into reply
Go to Next message: USTelecom dailyLead: "Agilent Sells Chip Business"
Go to Previous message: "School Gun Expulsions End"
TELECOM Digest: Home Page