The first step in securing a system from infiltration, theft, and sabotage is knowing where the weak points are. This nuts-and-bolts guide helps computer professionals make a meaningful security assessment of their systems by understanding hackers' methods. The book offers expert advice on staying on top of the latest viruses and stopping password cracking, sniffing attacks, spoofing, and session hijacking before they happen.
This complete security plan covers everything from the politics of privacy to decrypting, and even includes a "fast track" chapter condensing the most salient points of the book for readers in a hurry. Other features include easy-to-read tables summarizing key information and an appendix of secrets—little-known but powerful intrusion detection techniques.
Review By: Alan D. Smith 07/09/2010
This is a very practical, hands-on book that gives the reader insight into the multiple types of security holes and risks that our systems may have. In light of recent high-profile Internet worms, the security threat to your network is as real as ever. The book details a vast array of security issues and how to prevent them, or at least how to protect your network from possible risks due to attacks. The book was written with the help of ten contributors who have experience in computer security, for both private and government computer systems.
Chapter 1 discusses the politics of hacking—where the terms come from and the motivation behind security attacks. Chapter 2 explains the various laws of security, which spell out what can and cannot be done for protection. In the author’s words, “One of the important ideas that we want you to take from this book is that you can sometimes make a judgement about the security of a system without in-depth evaluation.” This chapter gives you insight to make those judgments. Chapters 3 and 4 discuss classes of attacks and the methodology for vulnerability research (the process for evaluating your system’s security). Chapters 5–14 get into the real nitty-gritty of each different type of security attack: diffing, cryptography, unexpected input, buffer overflow, sniffing, session hijacking, spoofing, server holes, client holes, viruses, Trojan Horses, and worms. The last chapter discusses reporting security problems.
Anyone involved with computers and the Internet should read this book. Whether in the QA or testing field, you are bound to be involved in some form of security testing of your software or system. The book takes the reader from the basics of security through the nuts-and-bolts topics, with a very nice and easy-to-read style. It builds upon itself so that someone new to the topic is not lost, as I have been while reading other books.
For one already experienced with these topics, the book is filled with great examples, in-depth explanations, lots of code, and a wealth of practical advice. The later chapters cover the actual security topics and give the reader both an introductory look at these specific issues, as well as code for NT and UNIX system defense—and analysis of the respective security topics.
I have read and been involved in various security issues during the past five years, and I was not bored reading about topics that I have had some experience with. The book brings new insight as well as up-to-date, hands-on code for today’s NT and UNIX systems. It also includes many Internet sites and email addresses for today’s security vendors, government, and other security agencies and information providers. The reader will find that this book gives a great overview of the entire computer security spectrum, with practical, from-the-trenches advice and information about how to make today’s Internet systems secure.