Top critical review
Who ARE these people giving 5 star reviews?
on May 21, 2004
The short review of this book is that if you're interested enough in the subject to buy this book, then you're unlikely to find anything - and I mean ANYTHING - new in this book.
It takes two seperate chapters: one on installing the Windows utility Netstumbler (with pages and pages of screen shots, when a simple "click on the icon" would do), and one on using - not "advanced options" or anything, just using - Netstumbler. Similarly, three whole chapters are dedicated to the excruciating details of installation and use of the Linux tool Kismet, but again, nothing which couldn't be found in the README files or on the website which hosts the utility. They have a chapter on how to convert Kismet and Netstumbler logfiles to maps: if you already know about Stumbverter, WiGLE, and DiGLE (or can use Google), there's nothing new here. The authors pine on for a chapter about the wardrives that they've organized. If you've ever listened to your grandparents talk about the war, it's a lot like that. Then, they have a chapter on WiFi "attacks" - if you know how to manually set your SSID and MAC, and if you've ever even heard of Airsnort, you probably won't need this nontechnical, sub-script-kiddie, Windows screen-shot-laden chapter.
If you're interested in war driving, or if you're interested in Wi-Fi security, then you're probably already conversant with the tools covered in this book. There is no real technical depth, as this book is written to a "manager's level" of technical competence. ("Click OK to continue.") Their chapter on Wi-Fi network defense essentially boils down to "change default SSID" and "use WEP"; there's a couple of pages on VPN, firewalls, and using authentication, but again, nothing to justify the purchase price of this book.