Famous German publisher Springer launched ‘Cyberdanger’ worldwide, a book written by Eddy Willems, G DATA’s Security Evangelist.
As the boundaries between the real world and the virtual world become blurred, the Internet is turning into a stamping ground for cyber criminals. They are using targeted malicious activities to cause untold damage to private individuals, companies or even entire governments of a country. Internationally renowned security expert Eddy Willems has set himself the target of enlightening company managers, politicians, government representatives and end users to this – and not just in the IT sector. Once equipped with the necessary knowledge, readers of the Springer book on cyber threats are able to recognise dangers in the digital world and protect themselves against cyber attacks. The book does not presume any prior knowledge – whether the solutions needed are for PCs, smartphones or entire company networks.
“It would be nice if we could make the world a little bit safer and at the same time make life a little bit harder for cyber criminals with this book”, says Willems in his introduction to the book. However, no IT system is basically immune to these risks. Both Windows and Apple devices have become victims of malevolent malware. But in the opinion of the expert, professionals disagree as to when the first computer virus was actually born. Some say it was Creeper, the first worm in an experimental program dating from 1971. However, it might also be Elk Cloner, which was only recognised as a virus many years after it was discovered. The only certain thing, says Willems, is that “the distribution of malware initially took place at a snail’s pace, moving from computer to computer via diskette; but with the introduction of the worldwide web, things rapidly intensified in terms of speed and the number of cyber victims.”
This book is an updated and translated version of Willems’ original Dutch book ‘Cybergevaar’, originally published by Lannoo, in October 2013. “Writing a book about cyber threats in a comprehensible and comprehensive way is not an easy task, but the book ‘Cybergevaar ‘ succeeds in this”, certifies the book’s first review, conducted by a well-known Belgian IT magazine, Datanews. Another review by the well-known security industry magazine Virus Bulletin is referencing it as ‘a pleasant read on an important subject’.
In December 2015, Willems published a German translation, ‘Cybergefahr’, which you still can buy via the publisher’s website, Amazon and several other webshops.
We would not want to miss the opportunity to interview Eddy Willems about his book:
G DATA: What was your motive for writing this book?
Willems: With the book “Cyberdanger” I try to provide a very readable and very accessible overview of information security related problems and malware. It actually reaches out to the general audience and does not only target the technically savvy reader but provides information for just everybody. This is, what I thought, was actually missing in the landscape of IT security books and I try to fill this gap with my book. Its first edition, in Dutch language, was sold out within months – the public’s interest is amazing. The next logical step was the translation into other languages.
Tell us more about the content - what can the reader expect?
Willems: “Cyberdanger” actually starts with an overview of the history of malware and looks into the many profiles of malware writers and hackers. Besides, one of the chapters touches the topic of underground economy and is illustrating the concept and structures, using a lot of examples. This part is based on a whitepaper written by the G DATA SecurityLabs. Furthermore, new developments in the fields of cyber attacks, sabotage and espionage are discussed and looked at from different angles. Naturally, it also does not miss to explain threats a user is confronted with on a daily base and some myths about malware are described in a detailed way. Among this, the chapter about general security tips and tricks is interesting for everybody and the book also provides a dedicated chapter with advice for companies. The book also elaborates on how governments and the media can play a role in the education of users. Moreover, it gives an inside look into the computer security industry and organizations like AMTSO and EICAR. ‘Cyberdanger’ does not miss the opportunity to highlight how the problem and its solutions may develop in the future, with a special chapter in the form of a short story – ‘Awakening’ – set in the year 2033.
You just mentioned a short story. But this is a fictional part, right?
Willems: Indeed, the short story ‘Awakening’ is a science fiction story, based upon actual security facts and potential technical possibilities in the year 2033. One approach imagines what could happen around the NATO base in Brussels, Belgium. Besides some fictional characters, I chose to include some very well-known security professionals and even my own son; they are real and have given their permission to be part of this incredible story. Apart from this short story, everything else in the book is non-fiction.
What is it that makes this book special?
Willems: While exploring the book, the reader can find out about several exciting security anecdotes and entertaining situations nobody has ever heard of before. I am referring to some real-life situations I came across, which happened in the past and sometimes even changed my life. There are also some small surprises to be found the book, but I will not spoil the fun - try to find out about them yourself.
Is ‘Cyberdanger’ solely based on your own opinions and experiences?
Willems: Most of the content is based on the experience which I have been building up as a user, a system analyst, a support engineer and advisor of a big insurance company, a senior security consultant of a worldwide value added security distributor, a security evangelist for two famous security vendors and as a board member of three organizations related to the AV industry. This gave me the exceptional opportunity to look at security from all different kinds of angles.
However, I also wished to include other points of view. That is the reason why I asked high-level security professionals to include their opinions in the book; people which I do know very well and highly respect, like (in random order) Natalya Kaspersky (InfoWatch), Ralf Benzmüller (G DATA), Peter Kruse (CSIS Security Group), Bob Burls (Symantec), Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Forgo (University of Hannover), Prof. Dr. Klaus Brunnstein (University of Hamburg - sadly he passed away in 2015), Luis Corrons (AVAST), Righard Zwienenberg (ESET), Jeannette Jarvis (Fortinet), Graham Cluley (Award-winning Security Blogger/Vlogger), Dennis Batchelder (AMTSO), Rainer Fahs (EICAR), Guy Kindermans (Journalist), Richard Ford (Forcepoint) and David Harley (Independent Security Researcher).
“Cyberdanger” by Eddy Willems, Springer International, is now available in hardcover and e-book versions via the Springer website, Amazon, other online bookshops and the official website: www.cyber-danger.com
“Cybergefahr” by Eddy Willems, Springer Spektrum, is still available, in softcover and e-book versions.You can find “Cybergefahr” on Amazon and most German bookstores and online shops.
Official website (German): www.cybergefahr.de
Official website (Dutch): www.cybergevaar.be