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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
To paraphrase Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca, "Who’s looking at you, kid?" Your boss? Your competitors? The government? Your ex-spouse’s private investigator? Some kid down the street? Your kid? How paranoid should you be? Secrets of Computer Espionage will tell you. Want to know the latest “spy vs. spy” tricks -- and countermeasures? This book will tell you that, too.
Author Joel McNamara is a leading security and privacy consultant who created Private Idaho -- for years, one of the top Windows email privacy tools. He was among the first demonstrate the risks of Word macro viruses. He also maintains The Complete, Unofficial TEMPEST Information Page, which demystifies secret government techniques for reconstructing data from your PC’s electromagnetic emanations.)
In this book, he systematically reviews the art and technologies of high-tech espionage. He also presents effective countermeasures -- many surprisingly easy and inexpensive. Most important, he teaches you to “think like a spy” -- so you can identify vulnerabilities you’d never have considered before.
McNamara starts with risk assessment. What do you have? Who might want it? How badly? How might they get it? What would happen if they got it? How can it be protected? Is protecting it worth the cost?
There’s a full chapter on the current laws on computer espionage. What are you (theoretically) protected against? If you’re the spy, what can’t you do, and what must you do? How has the USA Patriot Act of 2001 changed things?
Next, there’s a full chapter on “black bag jobs” -- e.g., burglaries designed to steal critical information or plant “bugs” or computer software designed to compromise information later. (The technologies have changed since the ’72 Watergate burglary that sank Richard Nixon, but the tradecraft hasn’t.) McNamara also outlines five sets of countermeasures.
Once a spy gains physical access, there are a laundry list of techniques for getting inside. McNamara covers them all. BIOS attack tools. CMOS zapping. Circumventing screen savers. System password recovery disks. Booting alternate operating systems (e.g., running DOS to access an NTFS drive with NTFSDOS). Even pulling the hard drive.
You’ll go behind the scenes with forensics specialists searching for evidence on your PC. You’ll discover their tools and procedures, and the key files and filesystem locations most likely to be searched (for instance, slack space, Windows swap files, browser artifacts, Sent Mail folders, IM and IRC logs). You’ll also learn what to expect from countermeasures such as encryption and “evidence eliminator” software.
You name it, McNamara covers it: password crackers, Trojan horses, data duplication tools, keyloggers, and anti-spyware such as Pest Patrol and Who’s Watching Me. There’s extensive coverage of network eavesdropping, including a full chapter on wireless vulnerabilities.
McNamara goes beyond PCs to discuss spying on fax machines, PDAs, voicemail systems, cell phones -- even shredders. He concludes with a well-informed chapter on secret government spying programs such as ECHELON.
Ignorance is no longer bliss. Know what’s out there. Know what to do about it. Read Secrets of Computer Espionage. Bill Camarda
Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2000 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks for Dummies, Second Edition.