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Computer Crimes: High-Tech Theft.

Publisher: Paladin Press, P. O. Box 1307, Boulder, CO 80306; 1990, 80 pages, softback: $15

Reviewer: George E. Ronne, Jr., CPP; Senior Consultant, M & M Protection Consultants; Member of the ASIS Standing Committee on Computer Security

This book is nothing more than an army field circular on investigating computer crime. Its stated goal is to assist the special agent in conducting crime prevention surveys and criminal investigations that include automated systems. It also claims it gives sufficient detail to lead a special agent in the investigation of a computer-related target.

If investigations require only what this book presents, I am surprised at how complex some computer crime investigations have been. This document's validity is further open to question when it is presented to the public but repeatedly refers to rules and laws established under the provisions of army regulation and the uniform code of military justice.

Computer Crimes: High-Tech Theft lacks sufficient detail to come close to its goal. References given are outdated and don't fully support the objectives.

The value of a private publishing company printing this army field circular is questionable. The document is not well written and only sketches some points to consider during a computer-related investigation. Aside from the issues that do not apply to the private sector, the document fails to provide appropriate guidance to an investigator new to this topic.

Advising an experienced special agent to combine his or her investigate skills with those of a computer security expert would be more helpful to all concerned than this book is. In a complicated computer crime, a special agent attempting to investigate without expert assistance would probably overlook or destroy at least part of the evidence. Defense attorneys could put a computer programmer or analyst on the stand and quickly raise questions about the credibility of the special agent's qualifications, and the case would be lost before it began.

This document was probably written because of a military need for a field circular that agents can understand and that addresses computer crime and crime prevention. Whoever wrote the circular, however, does not appear to have extensive programming knowledge.

The circular doesn't achieve its goal. It provides tables for clarity and reference, but it really is only a typed document that has been copied and is being offered for sale. It is aimed at army criminal investigators, but it doesn't do them justice.

Investigators I have met have the knowledge and expertise to carry out a complete investigation. Computer Crimes: High-Tech Theft would do little to support their efforts. This is not a good reference, and I do not recommend it to anyone.
COPYRIGHT 1991 American Society for Industrial Security
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Ronne, George E., Jr.
Publication:Security Management
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Apr 1, 1991
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