Precis of 'Who's reading your E-mail" by Richard Behars The article exposes the vulnerability of computer data and of corporations with the popularity of the Internet. The Internet can allow hackers access to any computer in the world, with understated ease. Break-ins can go virtually undetected Major corporations and government security departments have acknowledged that hacker break-ins are out of control. Some companies are too fearful to join networks because of this. Software programs brought out to deal with the growing problem, such as firewalls, are no longer totally effective. New technology has been developed such as ''Pilot Network Services' (offering supervised Internet access); 'Netranger' (a monitor device used by Pentagon) and 'Encrypton' (software that jumbles messages).
The basics of computer security (using difficult passwords, and guarding of data) are not being met in a disturbingly large number of American companies surveyed. A new bill demands that system operators become responsible for security.
Hackers can be prosecuted (with subsequent heavy penalties) only if the exposed company has actively shown that it was security conscious. Further more, exposed companies are liable to other companies if their lack of security precautions allowed their computer network to become an opening for other company break-ins.
Companies are dis-inclined to report breaches in security as it denotes a poor image and highlights their vulnerability. Clients demand security, and lack of it will send them elsewhere.
Billions of dollars annually is spent on protection devices. Others are utilizing the expertise of former convicted hackers to fine tune and update their security features. It is a case of befriending the enemy in order to learn more. These hackers come out of goal with a ready market for their expertise, and great financial rewards.
The explosion of the Internet use, and networks around the world have brought with...