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The Myths of Security

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  • The Myths of Security - What the Computer Security Industry Doesn't Want You to Know
  • John Viega
  • 0596523025



John Viega pulls no punches in this honest and entertaining look at the state of computer security today.

I think this is easily the most entertaining security book I've ever read. John has a sense of humor and strong opinions. Combine that with a lifetime of experience in computer security and you get a fun read.

This isn't a heavily technical book. If your grandfather uses a computer at all, he could read this and learn a few things. However, it's probably of more value to people who are interested in computer security. That should be anyone using a computer, but the title of chapter two is "Security: Nobody cares!" and that unfortunately isn't a great exaggeration.

I suppose some people will be upset by Joe's more volatile opinions. Joe thinks intrusion prevention systems are a foolish waste of time for most of us and isn't overly keen on firewalls and security suites either. He thinks that the A/V providers need to change their game plan radically. Windows users might not like the reality he paints with regard to their operating system choice - he's a Mac user since 2001 - but he's honest about the dangers the rest of us still have to worry about.

The chapter on Open Source is sure to incense some in that community, but he makes good points. When you really think about it, the "million eyeballs" argument isn't as compelling as it sounds. Not that he's against open source - he isn't. He's just telling it like it is.

That's the value here. Even when I disagreed, I found his arguments thought provoking and interesting. Some of what he had to say is still bubbling through my subconscious - I'm not sure yet whether I agree or disagree, but I definitely have things to think about.

This is a keeper. People trying to take it from my shelf will be firmly told to go buy their own copy.

You should head over to Amazon (or wherever you buy your books) and get this on its way to you now. You won't regret it.


Tony Lawrence 2009-07-23 Rating: 5.0

Amazon Order (or just read more about) The Myths of Security - What the Computer Security Industry Doesn't Want You to Know  from Amazon.com



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© Anthony Lawrence







Thu Jul 23 12:33:45 2009: 6674   MikeHostetler

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Wow Tony! I'm not sure you've ever recommended a book so highly. It really must be that good.





Thu Jul 23 12:43:59 2009: 6675   TonyLawrence

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Oh, I have. But you know, there's no place here that lists my favorites.

Sounds like a project for next week!





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Today’s computers are not even close to a 4-year-old human in their ability to see, talk, move, or use common sense. One reason, of course, is sheer computing power. It has been estimated that the information processing capacity of even the most powerful supercomputer is equal to the nervous system of a snail—a tiny fraction of the power available to the supercomputer inside [our] skull. (Steven Pinker)

One of the main causes of the fall of the Roman Empire was that, lacking zero, they had no way to indicate successful termination of their C programs. (Robert Firth)







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