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Title:   Security In Computing

Author: Charles P Pfleeger

ISBN: 0-13-241464-3

Price £26.95

Disk NA

The title of this book will suggest many different things to different people. From physical security to cyphers, viruses and hacking networks or operating systems. Well, you will not be disappointed. It is all in here along with a legal section and polices for  departmental security of files and information.Even the use of security guards are discussed!


With a book that covers so many areas it is not coverage in great depth. Even the 100 plus pages on cyphers and particularly key control are, whilst good stuff, only scratching the surface for serious work on the subject.  In the section on viruses several of the well-known incidents are explained and the myths exploded including the internet worm  in a helpful rather than sensational  way.


There is a fascinating section on covert channels of stealing information by inserting trapdoors etc in the source code. It then goes on to look at “secure” methods of program development that make good sw engineering sense for any program development. There are also descriptions for the validation and categorisation of systems covering the US Orange book the UK and German validation systems


I like this book. It is suitable not only for students but it also makes a very good introduction to the whole subject so any one who uses or manages computers.  By the nature of security one will have to turn to other  books for in depth (often platform specific) information in specific areas.  Fortunately  the text is littered with references to most of the in depth sources of information. The significant references are discussed in a bibliography at the end of each chapter.


The only reservation I have is that the section on ethics and particularly legal matters is specific to the USA and could unintentionally mislead where UK/EU law is different.  Apart from that this book is complete enough in coverage (and accurate) to give any DP manager sleepless nights!