REVIEW - Web Security & Commerce


Web Security & Commerce


Simson Garfinkel, Gene Spafford



O'Reilly (1997)




Brian Bramer


February 1998



Security is not only a major issue with Intranet servers (in-house systems containing confidential information) but also Internet servers which contain non-confidential information. For example, a hacker may alter marketing information about products or place libellous remarks about a competitor.

After an introduction to the Web, security is viewed from the user's point of view, e.g. bugs in browsers and Java (that may allow hackers to access your files) and problems of downloading code (ActiveX, plug-ins, etc.). Security is then viewed from the Web manager's point of view, discussing digital certificates and cryptography and server security in general. The book finishes with general discussion entitled 'commerce and society' which would be of interest to anyone who uses the Web (or manages such users), e.g. digital payments, censorship and criminal and civil legal issues. An appendix presents a set of very useful practical tips learnt when the author set up and operated a Web Internet service from his house. The advice ranges from basic building cabling (power and communications), connection with the phone company, setting up the server hardware and software, contacts with customers, accounts and invoicing and monitoring the service.

Security of is major importance to individuals and institutions that either use the Web to access information or provide information services. This book discusses the problems in detail and techniques to overcome them. A useful book for both users and managers and as supplementary reading on networking courses.

Book cover image courtesy of Open Library.

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