Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyEntertaining but hardly comprehensive, this study offers a somewhat European angle on the ``technological counterculture.'' The authors draw on interviews and technical literature to examine the techniques of American and British phreakers (who tap into phone systems), profile ``Captain Zap''--Pennsylvanian Ian Murphy, the first American computer hacker to be prosecuted--and describe the biggest international gathering of hackers, which took place in Amsterdam in 1989. Particularly interesting is an account of how Bulgaria, a would-be high-tech power, spawned hackers and a flood of computer viruses--approximately 200 since 1988. But Clough, an English accountant who has specialized in international computer security, and Mungo, an American freelance journalist, rarely offer in-depth portraits of their subjects, nor is their treatment sufficiently thorough to lend credence to their warning that we ``may no longer be able to trust technology.'' (Mar.)
Library JournalMungo, a newspaper and magazine feature writer, and Clough, an English accountant specializing in computer security, have put together another portrait of the world of computer hackers from the early days of the phone ``phreaks'' to the Eastern European efforts to commission targeted hacking and virus development. While the treatment of worms and viruses is more complete than in Katie Hafner and John Markoff's Cyberpunk ( LJ 6/1/91) or Bruce Sterling's Hacker Crackdown ( LJ 9/1/92) by virtue of later publication, this work does not add substantially to the available literature. Written more informally, with less technical detail, it will probably appeal to younger and/or more recent computer enthusiasts.-- Hilary D. Burton, Lawrence Livermore National Lab, Livermore, Cal.
Denise Perry DonavinWith an American (Mungo) and an English (Clough) coauthor, the effect is an international look at computer virus hazards. The authors write with an anecdotal, almost mystery-imbued style that thoroughly involves the reader in the antics and crimes of the hackers, programmers, and spies they describe. Their account develops historically from the original, rebellious Phreakers who sought to prevent government control of burgeoning computer capabilities to the evolution of computer tap-ins for profit and for espionage. All of the technical information is spelled out in precise, intriguing terms. A book sure to interest anyone who has dabbled with computers, and particularly those who have doctored a machine stricken with a virus or two.
- Random House Publishing Group
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- 1st American ed
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