Picks and Pans Review: Computer-Related Risks

updated 07/24/1995 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/24/1995 01:00AM

by Peter Neumann

Anyone with technophobia need look no further than Computer-Related Risks to find justification for fear. The book provides the most extensive chronicle to date of computer-related accidents and catastrophes. There have been many, like the destruction of an $18.5 million U.S. Atlas-Agena spacecraft that went off course because of a missing hyphen in its flight plan. Even animals can wreak havoc; last year a squirrel gnawed through a power cable at the NASDAQ stock exchange in Trumbull, Conn., and shut down trading for 34 minutes. The second half of the book is more technical, with suggestions on how to make computers more secure. Risks delivers a sobering note of caution as our society entrusts details of everyday lives to machines. (Addison-Wesley, $24.75)

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