A discussion of the brand-new, badly misunderstood, and highly lucrative area of crime made possible by the boys from IBM. Computer abuse can be anything from concealing a tiny model under your shirt to beating the house at blackjack, stealing a competitor's program from a timesharing computer, erasing data with a magnet, or illegally transferring millions of dollars to a fraudulent bank account. As with most white-collar crime, legality and ethics are but loosely and murkily entangled; the ""criminals"" tend to be just the kind of aggressive, ambitious genius most companies love to have on the payroll. Understandably, methods of detection have a long way to go to catch up with even the rather naive bunglers who perpetuated the billion-dollar Equity Funding scandal: it's the rare detective trained in EDP (electronic data processing), and it's hard to catch phony transactions when the only record exists on a spool of magnetic tape. Nor can those of us without untold millions rest easy, for electronic trickery extends far beyond the illegal transfer of assets--into the giant data banks where the facts of our life are available to any computer freak who wants to get hold of them. Thought-provoking at the least.