By @SimonCocking, review of Cyber Wars Hacks that Shocked the Business World by Charles Arthur, available from Koganpage here.

Cyber Wars gives you the dramatic inside stories of some of the world’s biggest cyber attacks. These are the game-changing hacks that make organizations around the world tremble and leaders stop and consider just how safe they really are. Charles Arthur provides a gripping account of why each hack happened, what techniques were used, what the consequences were and how they could have been prevented. Cyber attacks are some of the most frightening threats currently facing business leaders and this book provides a deep insight into understanding how they work, how hackers think as well as giving invaluable advice on staying vigilant and avoiding the security mistakes and oversights that can lead to downfall. No organization is safe but by understanding the context within which we now live and what the hacks of the future might look like, you can minimize the threat.

This is a great book, though a little scary. Of course it is scary because it is on the money and a strong reminder that we need to be smart, vigilant, and even then we can get hacked, DDos’d, and generally messed about to a very large degree. The chapters cover examples of different types of hacks. By the nature of routes to hacking Arthur has to explain in some detail slightly complex concepts to be able to show what then happened. Though the method of SQL hacking, basically copying and pasting the whole search query and dumping it into the browser seemed an insanely simple loophole to exploit. It is also deeply disturbing that the vulnerability was identified and the response from the developers was to disregard the issue and say ‘sure no one would do that’. Which is a compelling reminder that everything can probably be hacked, and if it can be hacked, then it will, eventually be hacked.  A slightly chilling conclusion but this does not make this a book to ignore. Well written, interesting, a couple of chapters dragged a little, but overall the good ones more than make up for it, and a book you should read.

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