Stealing the Network: How to Own a Continent

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Stealing the Network: How to Own a Continent

Mix the best Tom Clancy novel with the alpha-geek hacking culture trolling Slashdot and you may have some idea how Stealing the Network: How to Own a Continent exposes the seedier side of nefarious black hats to the technology community at large. Stealing the Network: How to Own a Continent is a sequel (of sorts) to 2003 s extremely well received Stealing the Network: How to Own the Box, a book that won accolades for its realistic depiction of computer hacking gone wrong.

 

Even though Stealing the Network: How to Own a Continent is a chilling piece of fiction, the software vulnerabilities exploited in the story are very real. It s also an entertaining exploration into the motivations behind the destructive behavior that the dark side of information technology can often elicit from people plagued with weak morals and corrosive greed. In the end, the message ultimately is that bad things happen to bad people.

 

A select number of experts in the computer security field with a penchant for creative writing and deep knowledge of their craft have individually contributed chapters to the story. Each character s involvement is threaded together by a fictitious mastermind named Bob Knuth (as one of the characters surmises, the name was obviously patterned after the world-renowned computer scientist Don Knuth ). Each chapter introduces a new character exploiting a new vulnerability. Some of these bits contain brilliant deductions and eerie twists. Two of my favorites were the less you know, the more money you will make theorem, and the startling whiplash of a plot device involving a blood type change. I also got a kick out of the DVD Extras style of appendix that reprinted portions of the Stealing the Network: How to Own a Continent Yahoo Group s threaded discussions showing how the book was assembled from concept to completion. This section offers readers an extraordinary glimpse into the effort required to coordinate a book with multiple contributors, and the questions and uncertainties that can arise throughout such a dynamic process.

 

Stealing the Network: How to Own a Continent is a rare treat for diehard techies seeking a good story that doesn t flinch in either its tale of gritty crime or real-life technology. It is a killer thriller of a story in the most literal sense of the word, with real-world tech speak. It s also a refreshing change from other works of fiction that use technology as a magical black box to advance the story. This is a book that treats its audience with respect while blowing their mind. I honestly couldn t put this book down, and when I finished reading the last page, I immediately e-mailed my recommendations to my tech friends.

 

Stealing the Network: How to Own a Continent is a book any serious developer and/or network administrator will enjoy reading and it will further help its audience realize the ongoing vulnerabilities in the current computing landscape and the types of people who are capable of taking advantage of these flaws. I can t wait for the next installment in this fascinating series!

 

Mike Riley

 

Rating:

Title: Stealing the Network: How to Own a Continent

Authors: 131ah, Russ Rogers, Jay Beale, Joe Grand, Fyodor, FX, Paul Craig, Tim Mullen, Ryan Russell

Publisher: Syngress Publishing, Inc.

ISBN: 1-931836-05-1

Book Web Site: http://www.syngress.com/catalog/sg_main.cfm?pid=2890

Price: US$49.95

Page Count: 432 pages

 

 

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