Hacking For Dummies Paperback – Apr 30 2004
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“…a good read…a price well-worth paying, because such works are invaluable…” (InfoSecurity News Magazine, August 2004)
“…an excellent aide…” (PC Home, August 2004)
“…should be of interest to both ethical and malicious hackers…” (Publishing News, 22nd March 2004)
From the Back Cover
Find out if your system is vulnerable to hack attacks!
"The coverage of security topics in this book can help you avoid a hack attack."
"To catch a thief, think like a thief." Heres the guide that will help you do just that! It shows you how to become a "white hat hacker," exploring your own system for vulnerabilities the unscrupulous hacker could exploit. And its loaded with tips, suggestions, and recommendations to help you plug any holes you find.
The Dummies Way
- Explanations in plain English
- "Get in, get out" information
- Icons and other navigational aids
- Tear-out cheat sheet
- Top ten lists
- A dash of humor and fun
Discover how to:
- Recognize and counter common hack attacks
- Gain support for your security plan
- Test the security of Windows®, Linux®, NetWare®, and more
- Report your finds to upper management
- Protect your network infrastructure
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
It wasn't until we got an e-mail telling us to stop sending out copyrighted movies that we realized what had happened. It wasn't anything in my computer they wanted, it was the bandwidth. Knowing what to look for it wasn't all that hard to stop. Google quickly provided links on this problem.
This book is aimed at people just like me. It gives an overall, if fairly light, view of the overall security problem. Like the other For Dummies books it has a writing style that doesn't (quite) put you to sleep. It has enough humor to enable you to get through it. It won't make you an expert, but it will point out the problem areas so that you can go deeper into those that are important to you. It's a good introduction.
From the perspective of the victimized company, however, it's not really important who is doing the attacking; all that matters is how organizations can protect themselves from myriad attacks and tools. Hacking for Dummies is written on the premise that to catch a hacker, you have to think and behave like one. This is a well-written and engrossing book that helps the reader understand how hackers compromise computer systems and networks. Its clear, easy-to-read style won't intimidate readers unfamiliar with abstruse security terms and concepts.
The 19 chapters progress from the basics of security to the hardening of an operating system and the hacking of Web applications. While the reader is not expected to have a deep technical background, the book does go into some detail, as it must to provide a hands-on approach. For a high-level theoretical approach to network defense, look elsewhere. This is a down-and-dirty tool for ensuring that the organization's systems and network are secure.
This book should be titled "penetration testing" with the subtitle "without any actual information on how to go about penetration testing, per se".
There are two schools of thought about disseminating detailed information on exploiting security vulnerabilities (that "it's a necessary evil" and "it's immoral"). So, the author is in good company to be in the later group.
Only, why then WRITE A BOOK entitled "Hacking"? The title seems close to fraudulent to me. Anyone hoping to find out how to crack from this book is going to be sorely disappointed. For example, while password cracking is passably well-covered, there isn't even a mention of how crackers get their hands on password files. The author spends only two paragraphs and a few bullets on rootkits--treating them like viruses or worms--despite the fact that they are critical cracker tools. There is a lot of discussion of portscanning without any discussion of how to penetrate the systems you've scanned.
So, you say, "Who cares about would-be criminals!?" Ok, but this book is not going to provide much real value to would-be white-hats either. You will find very little concrete advice on penetrating client systems from this book. However, the book does have quite a bit of advice and a number of tips about setting-up the gig (e.g., "Agree in writing"), general issues (e.g., "Don't test production systems during business hours."), and how to write the report (e.g., "prioritize vulnerabilities").
Actual admins will find very, very little of value. The "Plugging security holes" chapter is only five pages long! The tips sprinkled around are often poor or abstract (or common sense). The book provides little information on how attacks will occur. And it's quite marginal in describing the hacker psyche.
The book is full of links to software. But then so is Google and this book won't help much in choosing between most of them (i.e., my favorite tools were barely mentioned :).
I did (finally) identify a group who might benefit from this book: people who HIRE penetration testers--by educating you about how the process works. (Without giving away any of the trade secrets that might allow you to be self-sufficient!) It might also be a broad (shallow) introduction for the complete novice to security in abstract.
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