Book Review: Social Crime
Print Issue: January 2016
CRC Press; crcpress.com; 253 pages; $89.95
The activities and methodologies of criminals who exploit social networks for personal gain—financial or otherwise—are explored by multiple authors from Social Networking as a Criminal Enterprise.
The book is quite readable, and some chapters are of professional interest to security practitioners. But chapters 1 through 8 should be read by those who use the Internet and who are interested in protecting their privacy, their assets, and even their very lives.
The book includes many examples of crimes and wrongdoing, and the authors have responsibly omitted technical information on how to perpetuate the crimes. While people are becoming more circumspect in what they post online, too many people bare their souls in essentially public forums, making themselves vulnerable to predators who befriend, groom, and then victimize them.
The reader also learns about the vast activity on the Internet; for example in 2011, Americans received 4.5 billion messages identified as spam. One nefarious activity on the rise is smishing, the practice of fooling people via text message into going to sites designed to separate them from their personal and financial information. Much of the book’s information is based on research; however, various contributors contend that the Internet is still so new that meaningful research has not yet been achievable.
Reviewer: G. Ernest Govea, recently retired from Parsons. He is a Vietnam veteran and has been responsible for the protection of classified information for 39 years. He is a member of ASIS.