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Computer Security: Principles and Practice Hardcover – Aug 12 2007

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Amazon.com: 8 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
High level book on computer security lacks sufficient detail Sept. 30 2007
By calvinnme - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The author of this book also wrote the widely used text "Cryptography and Network Security". I like that book well enough, but you have to use outside resources to understand what's going on in that book, and I would say that is even more true for this textbook. That is because the author is basically taking subjects discussed in the Cryptography and Network Security book and adding topics like management issues and security of specific operating systems - without getting specific enough that you could actually solve too many problems. To me the best parts of the book are the appendices. The information on number theory is quite good, as are the suggestions for projects and labs. Unfortunately, this book does not contain sufficient information to perform those projects and labs. The contents make a good starting point for the study of computer security, but if you are an instructor be prepared to use lots of supplemental material or your students are going to be left high and dry. Currently the table of contents is not shown, so I include it next. This book is just under 900 pages long, so its 24 chapters are covering their subject matter in under 40 pages each, which does not give much room for detail.

Chapter 1 Overview

Chapter 2 Cryptographic Tools
Chapter 3 User Authentication
Chapter 4 Access Control
Chapter 5 Database Security
Chapter 6 Intrusion Detection
Appendix 6A:The Base-Rate Fallacy
Chapter 7 Malicious Software
Chapter 8 Denial of Service
Chapter 9 Firewalls and Intrusion Prevention Systems
Chapter 10 Trusted Computing and Multilevel Security

Chapter 11 Buffer Overflow
Chapter 12 Other Software Security Issues

Chapter 13 Physical and Infrastructure Security
Chapter 14 Human Factors
Appendix 14A: Security Awareness Standard of Good Practice
Appendix 14B: Security Policy Standard of Good Practice
Chapter 15 Security Auditing
Chapter 16 IT Security Management and Risk Assessment
Chapter 17 IT Security Controls, Plans and Procedures
Chapter 18 Legal and Ethical Aspects
Appendix 18A: Information Privacy Standard of Good Practice

Chapter 19 Symmetric Encryption and Message Confidentiality
Chapter 20 Public-Key Cryptography and Message Authentication

Chapter 21 Internet Security Protocols and Standards
Chapter 22 Internet Authentication Applications

Chapter 23 Linux Security
Chapter 24 Windows Security

Appendix A Some Aspects of Number Theory
A.1 Prime and Relatively Prime Numbers
A.2 Modular Arithmetic
A.3 Fermat's and Euler's Theorems
Appendix B Random and Pseudorandom Number Generation
B.1 The Use of Random Numbers
B.2 Pseudorandom Number Generators (PRNGs)
B.3 True Random Number Generators
Appendix C Projects for Teaching Computer Security
C.1 Research Projects
C.2 Programming Projects
C.3 Laboratory Exercises
C.4 Writing Assignments
C.5 Reading/Report Assignments

Appendix D Standards and Standard-Setting Organizations
Appendix E TCP/IP Protocol Architecture
Appendix F Glossary
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Okay content but they need to hire a proof-reader June 7 2008
By Rich - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The content is okay. I would prefer some more detail and less "fluff" that's been pulled from old papers about security. My main complaint about this book is the sheer number of misspellings and typos. For example, I've just read one section that says "see section E" for further detail. There isn't a section "E" -- contextually, you can determine quickly that they mean section "D". I feel like I'm reading someone's draft and not a final product.

Also, most modern books include either a self-testing CD or a web site where you can quiz yourself. If you're using this book for self-study (as opposed to being in a class), it's difficult to gauge how well you're retaining the information. This book does not include a CD. It does, however have a companion web site but I was unable to find a self-assessment tool on that website.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Pretty Good Intro Textbook Oct. 22 2009
By M. Wright - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I've been using this book as a textbook in my intro to security class since for a couple of years. As an introductory text for upper-level undergrads or grads in computer science, I think it's very appropriate and reasonably well written. In particular, I like it better than the Pfleeger and Pfleeger book (which is okay) and the Bishop book (which is very dense and theoretical -- theory is obviously important, but not for an intro course).

Like the other books of Stallings that I've read, it suffers somewhat from what I'll call "standards-itis." It uses well-known and well-documented methods and protocols as the only means of explaining some concepts. It thus may take a concept like "passwords" and say here is how UNIX does it, here is how that's been improved, and here are some published ideas on stopping bad password use. That's not bad, though it could be centered more around the principles of password protection. What's worse is when the book goes into great detail about things like the options in a Snort rule. This can make for some unnecessarily boring stretches of reading, with little conceptual material being imparted.

As another reviewer pointed out, you can't just pick up the book and have a ready-made course. You should supplement with some online materials (probably necessary anyway) and prepare students specifically for any labs you do. And I don't recommend this for someone learning without a teacher.

Overall, however, I think it's the best intro text for the subject that I've found.
Good info, but way too much math.. Nov. 14 2011
By Stephen1313 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was required for a class.
I thought it would be great and have a lot of hands on projects etc.
There is a lot of good information here, but it falls short in the hands on.
Also, it has a ton of very dry math.
Do not get it unless it is required for school.
OK but outdated Feb. 6 2011
By IPSec - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book is OK but it is 6 years old. Computer and network security have evolved so much in the last six years that the book is pretty out dated. It's a good basic foundation, not much more.