CSH5 discussion group Opens for business

The Computer Security Handbook, Fifth Edition (CSH5) edited by Seymour Bosworth, M. E. Kabay and Eric Whyne was published in February 2009 and we’ve already found mistakes! Oy gevalt ("Woe is me" in Yiddish). You can humiliate the editors even further with your very own contributions of typographical errors, infelicitous phrases, unclear paragraphs, and obsolete references. Just join the new CSH5_Discussion group on Yahoo and pitch in!

We have loaded the CSH5_Discussion group with a thread head for every chapter; when you want to register a complaint (perhaps in the style of the gentleman who wants to complain about the Norwegian Blue Parrot), locate the thread head (message) for the chapter (the subject is CH nn – title) (e.g., CH 04 – HARDWARE ELEMENTS OF SECURITY) and the message body is simply the authors' names. REPLY to the thread head with your suggestion for a correction by starting with the exact page number, the section number, and a quotation showing the mistake. Then add your suggested correction.

Our three editors are the moderators of the group, and we will evaluate the suggestions; accepted corrections and suggestions will be loaded into a small database (table, really) that we will use to communicate an ordered list of changes to the publisher.

Equally important, if you have suggestions for major corrections, new sections of chapters, and even new chapters, you can post those as replies to existing chapter heads or start a thread about a new chapter with "NEW: topic." Many of the authors are members of the group and we hope to foster vigorous and creative discussion of how to improve the text for the next edition. We expect to start working in earnest on the Sixth Edition around 2013 and publish it in 2015.

To order the paper or electronic versions of the CSH5, you can visit Amazon. Slavishly devoted addicts, er, users of the CSH5 are invited to post swooningly positive customer reviews on the site to earn virtual credits for promotion to the CSH5 Virtual Hall of Virtual Fame for Sycophantic Readers.

Finally, to encourage readers to look for bloopers, I have obtained the kind permission of Senior Editor Sy Bosworth to recount the tale of what would have been the most hilarious error in the history of the CSH. It is by the Grace of G-d and Sy’s eagle eye that Sy noticed at the last minute, as the book was going to press, that the following sentences had been misprinted in the CD-ROM version of the proofs (I've added the * for the missing word, "nothing"): "Although both Art and Doug are deceased, their commitment and their competence remain as constant reminders that * less than excellence is acceptable. Mich Kabay, my coeditor from the fourth edition, and Eric Whyne, our new third editor, continue in that tradition." Eric and I were in stitches when we learned of this spectacular omission.

You have to admit that such an error would have been amusing – assuming you perceived it as an error!

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Join me online for three courses in July and August 2009 under the auspices of Security University. We will be meeting via conference call on Saturdays and Sundays for six hours each day and then for three hours in the evenings of Monday through Thursday. The courses are "Introduction to IA for Non-Technical Managers," (July 18-23); "Management of IA," (Aug. 1-6); and "Cyberlaw for IA Professionals" (Aug. 8-13). Each course will have the lectures and discussions recorded and available for download – and there will be a dedicated discussion group online for participants to discuss points and questions. See you online!

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