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The ACCU passes on review copies of computer books to its members for them to review. The result is a large, high quality collection of book reviews by programmers, for programmers. Currently there are 1918 reviews in the database and more every month.
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Title:
Building SET Applications for Secure Transactions
Author:
Mark Merkow
ISBN:
0 471 28305 3
Publisher:
Wiley
Pages:
403pp
Price:
£25-95
Reviewer:
Silvia de Beer
Subject:
internet; security
Appeared in:
OL35
The book is a general introduction to electronic payments on the Internet, based around SET. The book reads like an article in a magazine. It is well written but has not got much depth. It is a good introduction for people who have no previous knowledge of this subject.

It explains card based payments, Points of Sale, the stages in a card based transaction like authorisation and capture. The various encryption techniques are explained in basic terms, together with Digital Certificates and Certification Authorities and the various participants in a SET transaction.

The message flows in the SET transaction are described. The contents of the SET messages are explained in over 50 pages with a poor layout. The listing has up to five dots in front of the data members, to indicate a subtype.

The last chapters of the book cover the analysis, design, installation, testing and operating of a SET system. Only in the later chapters is the book more critical about the SET protocol and brings the protocol in relation to other new developments. It is a pity that this book describes a standard, which is not universally accepted and might never be.