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Stealing The Network: How to Own the Box [Paperback]

4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 15 2003 1931836876 978-1931836876 1
"Stealing the Network: How to Own the Box" is NOT intended to be a "install, configure, update, troubleshoot, and defend book." It is also NOT another one of the countless Hacker books out there. So, what IS it? It is an edgy, provocative, attack-oriented series of chapters written in a first hand, conversational style. World-renowned network security personalities present a series of 25 to 30 page chapters written from the point of an attacker who is gaining access to a particular system. This book portrays the "street fighting" tactics used to attack networks and systems.

Not just another "hacker" book, it plays on "edgy" market success of Steal this Computer Book with first hand, eyewitness accounts
A highly provocative expose of advanced security exploits
Written by some of the most high profile "White Hats", "Black Hats" and "Gray Hats"
Gives readers a "first ever" look inside some of the most notorious network intrusions

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"...the reader will find this an informative, instructive and even entertaining book." - Managing Risk magazine

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Target Audience
Anyone with an interest in network security and wants to look into the mind of a network cracker/hacker.
This book is mostly a series of fictional stories written in first-person narrative on what happens during a network attack or an investigation into an attack.
The book is divided into the following chapters: Hide And Seek; The Worm Turns; Just Another Day At The Office; h3X's Adventures In Networkland; The Thief No One Saw; Flying The Friendly Skies; dis-card; Social (in)Security; BabelNet; The Art Of Tracking; The Laws Of Security
All too often the topic of network security becomes an academic exercise, until it's too late. Companies might know what they should do, and they might even think they are beyond attack. But to a motivated person, your system may be nothing more than swiss cheese. Stealing The Network takes you beyond the technical and into the psychology of an attack.
Stealing The Network is a series of fictional stories about network attacks of various sorts. Hide And Seek is an attack on a company's network by a person upset with poor customer service. He steals a credit card file and posts it for others to use. The Worm Turns is an all-night hacking session to dissect the latest internet virus and post a patch before any of the other anti-virus firms do so. Just Another Day At The Office is a story of hacking for organized crime against a firm developing a new type of land mine, and involves both network and physical building intrusion. While it might be easy to dismiss these as the result of a vivid imagination, the reality is that all of these attacks are done on a daily basis. They may even have happened to you at your company, and you just don't know it yet.
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I saw this book on the shelves and started flipping through it. Next thing I know it was a half hour later and I was still sitting on the floor with the same book in my lap.
In particular I wanted to read the chapter about H3x's adventure in networkland, since it seemed the most intriguing. She's a sexy female hacker that hits nightclubs and has a neon social life - so already we know the story is fiction, right?
I noticed that the author of one of the chapters posted a review. I didn't pay attention to which chapter and don't have the book in front of me, but he states that all the methods used are possible. Well, you can't have a technical book without subjecting it to technical scrutiny. Here's where the meat of my review weighs in: H3x's adventures sometimes make no sense, and other times are technically wrong. Let me explain.
First she realizes the changes she made on the routers at a university were logged to a syslog server, so she hacks that to cover her tracks by taking out the network address she used. Nevermind that she configured the routers to point a GRE tunnel to her home network, and then set "0wn3d" (or something similar) as the interface desription. Isn't that like sneaking tiptoe through a house late at night with a blaring stereo on your shoulders? And what kind of pipe would be going into her home to be able to keep up with an ethernet connection on a campus network? At this point everything is still technically possible, although somewhat unbelievable. Still - this is fiction after all.
The administrators catch wind of this and do all the obligatory password and community string changes, tightening of security with access lists and pant-wetting.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I SURRENDER ALREAY! Sept. 8 2003
By A Customer
Not much scares me. I've seen a lot in my life. As a security engineer, this book scares. It makes me want to quit my day job and just go sell suntan lotion on the beach.
All of the things the reader is shown in the book can be defended. The problem lies in the resources available to the reader in trying to defend their crown jewels. Sure, there are plenty of free tools available to do nearly every job; but how much time do you have to set them all up, tune them, reconfigure and update as needed and review the output? I know we would need to up our IT security labor budget 1000% to cover all of this.
Chances are, this book is going to open your eyes to the way you think an intrusion may work. You may think that one vulnerability will be your downfall. With this book, the people who know will show you how a malicious hacker will slip through the cracks between you systems.
As an owner of dozens of IT security books, this is one that gets a space where I can easily access it and read it again and again.
Forget the Freddy vs. Jason battle; these people are showing you how the fight is being brought to your cube. Oh yeah, it's on!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Syngress' answer to "Hacker's Challenge" May 18 2003
"Stealing the Network" (STN) is an entertaining and informative look at the weapons and tactics employed by those who attack and defend digital systems. STN is similar to the "Hacker's Challenge" books published by Osborne, although the stories are not separated into evidence and resolution sections. Rather, a collection of authors use mildly fictional tales to introduce readers to tactics and techniques used by black and white hat hackers.
My favorite chapter was written by FX of Phenoelit, where a female black hat battles white hat defenders. The playing field includes HP printers, GRE tunnels between routers, and other novel tricks. Reading both sides of the story was fun and educational. I also liked Joe "Kingpin" Grand's insider theft case (ch 3), featuring Palm hacks and Blackberry sniffing. The worm disassembly chapter by Ryan Russell and Tim Mullen is worth reading as well.

This book is worth reading, but it's $... cover price is steep. While the stories are fictional, much of it is probably based on the author's experiences either consulting or studying similar incidents. This book can best be used by security professionals to test how they would have responded to the threats presented by the fictional adversaries profiled in STN. There's plenty to be learned by reading STN, and I hope to see sequels.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected, but a good read
In some ways I though this would be a recipe book of hacks like most in this category. This book has great stories about hacks from the hackers point of view. Read more
Published on March 13 2004 by Steve B.
4.0 out of 5 stars Not to bad.
Overall I enjoyed this book. I felt it was a good read and although some of the "hacks" were hard to beleive on a technical level. It did get me thinking. Read more
Published on March 13 2004 by Mike Anderson
2.0 out of 5 stars Where's the beef?
Well, this book *sounded* great. In fact, after taking a look at it I wondered if I'd received the correct item. For this price I'd expect more content. Read more
Published on March 7 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and Interesting
While this is not the best book for an introduction into the technical issues surrounding hacking, it is an entertaining approach to some of the issues. Read more
Published on Jan. 21 2004 by Dan Perdue
2.0 out of 5 stars Novel
I was not very impressed with the publishing of this book. There were many typos and issues involving supposed screen prints that could not be adequately viewed. Read more
Published on Nov. 13 2003 by Todd Hudspeth
4.0 out of 5 stars Cyberpunk Now
This book reminds me of Neuromancer and Burning Chrome by William Gibson. Same atmosphere, same short story format. I loved this book. Read more
Published on Sept. 29 2003 by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Great concept
There are many books out there on security this one manages to be unique. I love the way they take real accurate information about various ways to get around security and break... Read more
Published on Sept. 28 2003 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Fiction in Real Life
Is this book relevant? Read chapter 2 and compare it to the events of the last two weeks - Blaster and Nachi (the fixer) I started telling people around the office about the... Read more
Published on Aug. 19 2003 by Michael Piscatello
5.0 out of 5 stars Making geeks exciting
This book is awesome! I read a lot of boring technical books, and this was one hell of a break from the extreme dullness. Read more
Published on Aug. 6 2003 by "frant1c"
5.0 out of 5 stars How am I expected to ever be able to sleep again?
After reading this book, I realize that no matter how hard I work at keeping our networks secure, there will always be a vulnerability that can be exploited by those talented in... Read more
Published on July 24 2003
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