Issue No. 10 - October (2007 vol. 40)
DOI Bookmark: http://doi.ieeecomputersociety.org/10.1109/MC.2007.338
Exploiting Online Games: Cheating Massively Distributed Systems, Greg Hoglund and Gary McGraw. This book exposes the inner workings of online-game security, examining controversial security issues surrounding massively multiplayer online role-playing games such as World of Warcraft and Second Life. The book also includes code examples, debuggers, bots, and hacks.
Gamers, game developers, software security professionals, and interested bystanders can find value in this book's coverage of online games, the harbingers of software security issues to come. The text describes how gamers have created billion-dollar virtual economies, how game companies invade personal privacy, why some gamers cheat, techniques for breaking online game security, how players build bots to play the game for them, and methods for crafting total conversions and advanced mods.
The authors look closely at security problems associated with advanced, massively distributed software. With hundreds of thousands of interacting users, today's online games are a bellwether of modern software. The kinds of attack and defense techniques this book describes put tomorrow's security techniques on display today.
Addison-Wesley; www.awprofessional.com; 0-13-227191-5; 384 pp.
The Plenitude: Creativity, Innovation, and Making Stuff, Rich Gold. The author calls the dense, knotted ecology of human-made stuff the Plenitude. And in this book—at once cartoon treatise, autobiographical reflection, and practical essay in moral philosophy—he tells readers how to understand and live with it.
Gold writes about the Plenitude from the seemingly contradictory perspectives of artist, scientist, designer, and engineer—all professions he has pursued, sometimes simultaneously, in the course of his career. The author acknowledges that the Plenitude grows not only because it creates a desire for more of itself but also because it is extraordinary and pleasurable to create.
Gold illustrates these creative expressions with cartoons. He describes seven patterns of innovation and meditates on the Plenitude itself and its moral contradictions before asking how we can in good conscience accept the pleasures of creating stuff that only creates the need for more stuff.
MIT Press; mitpress.mit.edu; 0-262-07289-2; 144 pp.
Economics of Identity Theft: Avoidance, Causes, and Possible Cures, L. Jean Camp. Identity today is, more than anything, economic. The technology used to create, utilize, and protect identities is increasingly ill-matched to their economics and uses. Identity theft is the misuse of private authenticating information to steal money. Protecting identity requires privacy, yet proving identity requires exposing information. Together, these points illustrate that the near-term search for cheap identity management is a formula for long-term fraud that will result in ever-increasing identity theft.
This book approaches privacy from a multidimensional perspective, pulling forward the economics of privacy in the first few chapters. It also includes identity-based signatures, spyware, and the placement of biometric security in an economically broken system, which results in a broken biometric system. The final chapters include systematic problems with practical individual strategies for preventing identity theft for any reader of any economic status.
Springer; www.springer.com; 978-0-387-34589-5; 181 pp.
Implementation Patterns, Kent Beck. Great code doesn't just function, it clearly and consistently communicates developers' intentions, allowing other programmers to understand the code, rely on it, and modify it with confidence. Great code is the outcome of hundreds of small but critical decisions programmers make every day. The author, widely known for creating Extreme Programming and pioneering software patterns and test-driven development, focuses on these critical decisions, unearthing powerful implementation patterns for writing simpler, clearer, better organized, and more cost-effective programs.
The author identifies 77 new patterns for handling everyday programming tasks and writing more readable code. These patterns address many development areas, including class, state, behavior, method, collections, and frameworks.
Addison-Wesley; www.awprofessional.com; 0-321-41309-1; 176 pp.
UML 2 Certification Guide: Fundamentals & Intermediate Exams, Tim Weilkiens and Bernd Oestereich. The popular Unified Modeling Language is both a language and notation developed by the Object Management Group to design and create software systems specifications. With the recent release of UML version 2.0, the OMG has started the OMG-Certified UML Professional Program to provide an objective measure of UML knowledge. As a certified UML professional, a developer has a credential to present to employers and clients.
This book systematically explores the topics covered in the exams and has been carefully reviewed by the OMG. It begins by assuming only a basic knowledge of UML, then progresses far enough to let readers pass both the fundamental- and intermediate-level exams. Along the way, the book also covers topics not covered in the introductory UML books but still necessary to pass the exams.
Morgan Kaufmann; www.mkp.com; 0-12-373585-8; 320 pp.