An engrossing volume about hackers that should cause readers to immediately tweak their passwords.

Hacked Again

A cybersecurity pundit blends memoir and advice in this compact debut book.

With society’s shift to wireless and cloud-based computing, Schober, president and CEO of Berkeley Varitronics Systems, which makes diagnostic equipment for wireless networks, has found a second career helping people thwart hackers. In this volume, he connects with readers on a personal level by sharing his own experiences of being hacked and showcases his authority by chronicling how often he has been sought out by TV and other media, such as after the notorious Target and Sony data breaches. Schober begins with bank account and credit card risks and notes the nontechnical ways that cyberthieves in the workplace steal identities through careless habits, like sticky notes with passwords on monitors. He discusses spam, malware, phishing, and spoofing; different kinds of hackers; and the dark web, where they trade stolen data. Despite these subjects’ technical nature, the author consistently uses plain language geared to novices and writes in a straightforward, conversational style reflecting his considerable public-speaking experience. A good glossary of cyberterms is included. He uses the metaphor of physically securing a home, advocating multiple layers of defenses designed to make thieves move on to easier targets. He emphasizes strong passwords changed regularly and details techniques to apply and avoid in creating them. He suggests substituting gibberish or passwords for security question answers, like school or pet names, which might be guessed or found on social media. He warns readers not to click on links in unsolicited emails. Few of his tips are original, but the author breathes life into his counsel by combining deep technical knowledge, extensive personal experience, and a down-to-earth communication style. Some may find his name-dropping gratuitous, but by placing himself at the center of the fast-paced action, Schober creates a narrative that is more likely to keep readers engaged than typical tech guides—one that pulls together all major cybersecurity threats, details their consequences, and offers practical, preventive actions that are easy to understand and implement.

An engrossing volume about hackers that should cause readers to immediately tweak their passwords.

Pub Date: March 15, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-9969022-0-5

Page Count: 202

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: July 11, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2016

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Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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