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BackTrack 4: Assuring Security by Penetration Testing Paperback – Apr 14 2011
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About the Author
Shakeel Ali is a main founder and CTO of Cipher Storm Ltd, UK. His expertise in the security industry markedly exceeds the standard number of security assessments, compliance, governance, and forensic projects that he carries in day-to-day operations. As a senior security evangelist and having spent endless nights without taking a nap, he provides constant security support to various businesses and government institutions globally. He is an active independent researcher who writes various articles, whitepapers, and manages a blog at Ethical-Hacker.net. He regularly participates in BugCon Security Conferences, Mexico, to highlight the best-of-breed cyber security threats and their solutions from practically driven countermeasures.
Top Customer Reviews
The authors introduce the idea that pen testing is not about randomly using a collection of tools to plink around a network. Instead, a structured, procedural methodology should be used to achieve timely, thorough, and reportable results. The authors also provide a detailed description of a security testing methodology to be used with BackTrack itself.
Each step in this methodology represents an element in the penetration testing life cycle management performed for each customer. The authors describe how this organized progression allows pen testers to determine their course of action, plan for needed resources, and not waste time and resources by duplicating effort. My only complaint is that this section is too small, and deserves expanding using actual case studies.
A considerable number of pen testing tools for each step in the methodology are covered with examples and instruction. Popular tools covered include Metasploit (Meterpreter), Maltego, NMap, NetXpose, and Nessus. Tools for exploiting (uh, testing) Web servers, databases, applications, and even Cisco devices are also covered.
I was very happy to see a chapter on Social Engineering. Experienced pen testers often remark that the most penetrable area of any system are the people who use and control it.Read more ›
Frightening, yet useful in the right hands. If you are a security testing professional, you really need a copy of this book.
In part, the text offers a good overview of the field, separate from the usages of BackTrack. So you get a summary of several common security testing methodologies. Including the Open Source Security Testing Methodology Manual. If you have a background in science experiments, you'll see clear parallels in how this OSSTMM approach investigates an unknown system.
As far as BackTrack is concerned, its capabilities are explored in depth through most of the text. It does seem to have covered all the bases. Like checking/scanning for open TCP and UDP ports on target machines. Or looking for live machines on a network. One thing that becomes clear is that you can treat BackTrack as a repertoire of free tools. And you can pick just a subset of these tools to initially use against your network, if you have specific needs or suspicions,
To be sure, the recommended usage is a top down one, where you treat BackTrack as an integrated whole and you systematically first plan out your entire testing. No argument from me. You should do this, if you decide to use BackTrack in the first place. But a pragmatic incremental approach might still have some merit. Where you can just choose a tool and look up its usage in the text and run it. Easy to get some experience and confidence.