THE MAGAZINE

Computer Fraud Casebook: The Bytes That Bite

By Joseph T. Wells, editor; Reviewed by Adrian A. Barnie

***** Computer Fraud Casebook: The Bytes that Bite. Joseph T. Wells, editor; published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., www.wiley.com (Web); 440 pages; $68.

 
In the preface of this book, author Joseph T. Wells warns of a worst-case scenario in which hackers and cyberthieves cripple the global economy. Those of us who were around 30 short years ago could never have imagined the threats posed by light-speed computer crime. In this text, Wells and his peers look at dozens of less catastrophic real-world cases, how they were investigated, and how readers might prevent similar incidents altogether.
 
Wells is among the best-known authorities on the topic of fraud. He is the founder and chairman of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), and author of 14 books and numerous articles on fraud and accounting. Computer Fraud Casebook, however, is a team effort: a compilation of 42 case studies written by the individuals who conducted the actual investigations. Contributors range from auditors to police investigators and everyone in between. The organizations targeted in the cases likewise range from financial institutions and small businesses to government agencies.
 
The case studies are likely to send chills up readers’ spines, but they will also provide readers with excellent insight. The case studies are well organized in an easy-to-read, narrative style. Each ends with lessons learned and recommendations, both of which could prove very useful to someone conducting a computer fraud investigation. Wells, however, advises that “recovering the victim’s money is difficult if not impossible” and that prevention is the number one goal.
 
This book would be a valuable asset to any security director or manager involved in fraud prevention. Additionally, it would be an excellent case studies textbook in a college-level security or investigations course. It is highly recommended.
 

Reviewer: Adrian A. Barnie, CPP, CFE (Certified Fraud Examiner), CAMS (Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist), is with the Anti-Money Laundering Unit of KeyBank’s Financial Intelligence Unit in Cleveland, Ohio. He is a member of ASIS.

 

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