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Counter Hack Reloaded: A Step-by-Step Guide to Computer Attacks and Effective Defenses (2nd Edition) Paperback – Dec 23 2005

4.4 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 784 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall; 2 edition (Dec 23 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0131481045
  • ISBN-13: 978-0131481046
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 4.8 x 23.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #195,070 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

From the Inside Flap

My flight had just landed, it was around midnight. The flight attendant announced that we could turn on our cell phones. As soon as mine booted up, it started buzzing...a frantic call from a newspaper reporter I had recently met. He quickly explained that he had obtained a copy of a manifesto, written by a terrorist who had launched some pretty horrific attacks killing hundreds of innocent people a few months back. The reporter had the text professionally translated so he could get some folks to analyze it. In this thirty-page document, this very evil guy was urging his followers to alter the tactics in their struggle. To augment their physical terrorism, the plan was to start including cyber attacks to maximize the impact on countries opposed to their terrorist agenda. The reporter wanted me to analyze the technical underpinnings of the manifesto, to determine whether it was all smoke and mirrors or a legitimate cause for concern.

I got to my hotel room and snagged a copy of the manifesto from my e-mail. The document I read startled me. Although not technically deep, it was quite astute. Its author emphasized that the terrorist group could enhance their stature and influence and cause more terror by undermining their enemies’ economic well-being through the use of computer attacks. After this really eerie “motivational speech” introduction, the manifesto described how different categories of cyber attacks could be used to achieve terrorist goals. While the author didn’t include technical details, he did provide a huge number of technical references on computer attacks, pressing his faithful followers to study hard the technologies of the “infidels” so they could undermine them.

The following day I received an unrelated call, this time from a lawyer friend of mine. He explained that a computer attacker had broken into the network of a company and stolen over a million credit card numbers. Because the attacker had pilfered the entire magnetic stripe data stored on the company’s servers, the bad guy could create very convincing counterfeit cards and begin selling them on the black market. My lawyer friend wanted me to look over the details of the heist and explain in nontechnical terms how the thief was able to pull this off. I carefully reviewed the case, analyzing the bad guy’s moves, noting sadly that he or she had used some pretty standard attack techniques to perpetrate this big-time crime.

Given those cases on back-to-back days, I re-read the preface to the original Counter Hack book I wrote almost five years ago. While it described a real-world attack against an Internet service provider, it still had a fun feeling to it. The biggest worry then was the defacing of some Web sites and my buddy’s boss getting mad—certainly cause for concern, but not the end of the world. I was struck by how much things have changed in computer attacks, and not at all for the better. Five years back, we faced a threat, but it was often manifested in leisurely attacks by kids looking to have some fun. We did face a hardened criminal here and there, of course, but there was a certain whimsy to our work. Today, with organized crime and, yes, even terrorists mastering their computer attack skills, things have become more dark and sinister. Sure, the technology has evolved, but increasingly, so has the nature of the threat.

That’s why it’s even more important than ever before for computer professionals (system administrators, network administrators, and security personnel), and even laypeople, to have knowledge of how the bad guys attack and how to defend against each of their moves. If we don’t understand the bad guys’ tactics and how to thwart them, they’ll continue to have their way with our machines, resulting in some major damage. They know how to attack and are learning more all the time. We defenders must also be equally if not more well-equipped. This new edition, Counter Hack Reloaded, represents a massive update to the original book; a lot has happened in the last five years in the evolution of computer attack technology. However, the book retains the same format and goal: to describe the attacks in a step-by-step manner and to demonstrate how to defend against each attack using time-tested, real-world techniques.

Oh, and one final note: While the nature of the threat has gown far more sinister, don’t let that get you down in the dumps. A depressed or frightened attitude might make you frustrated and less agile when dealing with attacks, lowering your capabilities. If we are to be effective in defending our systems, we must keep in mind that this information security work we all do is inherently interesting and even fun. Don’ get me wrong—it’s incredibly important to be diligent in the face of these evolving threats. But, at the same time, we must strive to keep a positive attitude, fighting the good fight and making our systems more secure.



0131481045P09212005

From the Back Cover

“I finally get it! I used to hear words likerootkit, buffer overflow,andidle scanning,and they just didn’t make any sense. I asked other people and they didn’t seem to know how these things work, or at least they couldn’t explain them in a way that I could understand.Counter Hack Reloadedis the clearest explanation of these tools I have ever seen. Thank you!”
—Stephen Northcutt, CEO, SANS Institute
“Ed Skoudis does it again! With this new edition, Ed takes a phenomenal work to the next level! This book is a ‘must-have’ and a ‘must-read’ for anyone remotely associated with computers and computer security.”
—Harlan Carvey, CISSP, author ofWindows Forensics and Incident Recovery
“Ed Skoudis is a rare individual. He knows the innards of all the various systems, knows all the latest exploits and defenses, and yet is able to explain everything at just the right level. The first edition of Counter Hack was a fascinating read. It’s technically intriguing and very clear. . . . A book on vulnerabilities, though, will get out of date, and so we definitely needed this updated and significantly rewritten second edition. This book is a wonderful overview of the field.”
—From the Foreword by Radia Perlman, series editor, The Radia Perlman Series in Computer Networking and Security; author ofInterconnections; and coauthor ofNetwork Security: Private Communications in a Public World
“What a great partnership! Ed Skoudis and Tom Liston share an uncanny talent for explaining even the most challenging security concepts in a clear and enjoyable manner. Counter Hack Reloaded is an indispensable resource for those who want to improve their defenses and understand the mechanics of computer attacks.”
—Lenny Zeltser, coauthor ofMalware: Fighting Malicious Code
“Ed Skoudis does it again! With this new edition, Ed takes a phenomenal work to the next level! This book is a ‘must-have’ and a ‘must-read’ for anyone remotely associated with computers and computer security.”
—Harlan Carvey, CISSP, author ofWindows Forensics and Incident Recovery
“In addition to having breadth of knowledge about and probing insights into network security, Ed Skoudis’s real strength is in his ability to show complex topics in an understandable form. By the time he’s done, what started off as a hopeless conglomeration of acronyms starts to sound comfortable and familiar. This book is your best source for understanding attack strategies, attack tools, and the defenses against both.”
—William Stearns, network security expert, www.stearns.org
“This book is a must-have for anyone in the Internet security game. It covers everything from the basic principles to the fine details of online attack methods and counter-strategies and is very engagingly written.”
—Warwick Ford, coauthor ofSecure Electronic Commerce

For years,Counter Hackhas been the primary resource for every network/system administrator and security professional who needs a deep, hands-on understanding of hacker attacks and countermeasures. Now, leading network security expert Ed Skoudis, with Tom Liston, has thoroughly updated this best-selling guide, showing how to defeat today’s newest, most sophisticated, and most destructive attacks.

For this second edition, more than half the content is new and updated, including coverage of the latest hacker techniques for scanning networks, gaining and maintaining access, and preventing detection. The authors walk you through each attack and demystify every tool and tactic. You’ll learn exactly how to establish effective defenses, recognize attacks in progress, and respond quickly and effectively in both UNIX/Linux and Windows environments.

Important features of this new edition include

  • All-new “anatomy-of-an-attack” scenarios and tools
  • An all-new section on wireless hacking: war driving, wireless sniffing attacks, and more
  • Fully updated coverage of reconnaissance tools, including Nmap port scanning and “Google hacking”
  • New coverage of tools for gaining access, including uncovering Windows and Linux vulnerabilities with Metasploit
  • New information on dangerous, hard-to-detect, kernel-mode rootkits


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Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars 43 reviews
One person found this helpful.
5.0 out of 5 starsGreat book, every IT Sec professional should read!
on January 22, 2016 - Published on Amazon.com
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3 people found this helpful.
5.0 out of 5 starsStill amazingly accurate in 2012
on January 29, 2012 - Published on Amazon.com
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5.0 out of 5 starsFive Stars
on November 5, 2016 - Published on Amazon.com
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5.0 out of 5 starsTime to Reload!!!
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2.0 out of 5 starseasy to understand--probably great for its time
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