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Aggressive Network Self-Defense Paperback – Illustrated, February 12, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-1931836203 ISBN-10: 1931836205 Edition: 1st
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Neil R. Wyler (JNCIS-FWV, JNCIA-SSL) is an Information Security Engineer and Researcher located on the Wasatch Front in Utah. He is the co-owner of two Utah-based businesses, which include a consulting firm with clients worldwide and a small software start-up. He is currently doing contract work for Juniper Networks, working with the company’s Security Products Group. Neil is a staff member of the Black Hat Security Briefings and Def Con hacker conference. He has spoken at numerous security conferences and been the subject of various online, print, film, and television interviews regarding different areas of information security. He was the Lead Author and Technical Editor of Aggressive Network Self-Defense (Syngress, 1-931836-20-5) and serves on the advisory board for a local technical college.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Syngress; 1 edition (February 26, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1931836205
  • ISBN-13: 978-1931836203
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #602,278 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By jose_monkey_org on April 14, 2005
Format: Paperback
Continuing in the new theme of fiction and technical how-to, Aggressive Network Self-Defense brings together several authors to provide a wide range of material. Syngress' niche in this space seems to be breaking new ground -- and for the most part, it works. While you don't get as in-depth a treatment as a typical technical book gives you, there is an added dimension: namely, a more realistic scenario of how these tools fit together in a real, live series of actions.

Not being a big fan of most fiction (I tend to prefer history), it's hard to say definitively good or bad things about the quality of the writing. What I can say is that it's infinitely less irritating, and far more realistic, than Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon or Gibson's Neuromancer. No over-the-top smearing of adjectives to describe the mundane, and no unrealistic sequences of events. Then again, there's no character development and no real story progression, so it's not great fiction.

As a series of hacker vignettes, the book works just fine, and very well for the purposes at hand. Basically, what the authors want you to get from the book is two-fold: First, they want you to debate the issues around "strike back" attack methodologies. Several of the authors are open advocates of what are legal grey areas and open moral questions in the field of network security. Secondly, they want you to see how it's done, what you do when you actually use a tool to achieve a goal. Most books that do this, like Hacking Exposed, cover far more tools, but they usually do so without showing you each tool's use in a real-world scenario.

I won't bore you with a lengthy, detailed overview of the first part of the book. Like I said, it's a series of part fiction, part tutorial series of short stories.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on May 10, 2005
Format: Paperback
Most computer security books focus on how to defend a computer system or network from outside attack: that's the basic difference between them and Neil R. Wylder's Aggressive Network Self-Defense: I'm Mad As Hell, And I'm Not Gonna Take It Anymore! The focus here is on the technical, legal and financial ramifications of a 'strike-back' and 'active defense' program which promotes doing more than just defense. Chapters cover 'cyber dogfights' between hackers and defender/attackers, offers up tales of revenge and following the trail of an attacker, accounts of fights at different network levels, and stories of problem-solving in network attacks. Both fictional and many real-life scenarios are covered, with plenty of technical computer detail. A lively, satisfying book for all levels of computer user, but particularly administrators who want to do more than just defend.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By John Matlock on April 19, 2005
Format: Paperback
The title of this book says "Agressive." A better word might be "Vigilante."

I live in the west. Vigilante's came about because the law enforcement of the time was to weak to handle the problems. I don't know but that this is the situation out on the internet. I understand that CoolWebSearch is written/distributed from Russia. Who is going to go tell them that I don't want their stuff on my machine?

This book presents a series of "fictional" incidents where people being attacked strike back using technological means. Most of the time the police get involved at the end, usually finding the wrong man. None the less, the stories do an excellent job of describing how "aggressive" network defenders might attempt to strike back at attackers. These stories are certainly a more interesting approach than the typical computer manual.

The second part of the manual gets more technical and describes in greater depth the tools and techniques that the defenders in the fictional stories use.

The whole book brings up a series of moral questions. Where do you just build walls and defenses vs. where do you go out and counter-attack the attackers? Where are you counter-attacking illegally, with the potential to get caught yourself? It's quite a book and perhaps a sign of the coming times.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Richard Bejtlich on April 7, 2005
Format: Paperback
'Aggressive Network Self-Defense' (ANSD) is another innovative Syngress book. It leaps beyond the theories of digital self-defense initially proposed by Tim Mullen in 2002. Tim tried to justify using 'neutralizing agents' to disable malicious processes (like Code Red or Nimda) on infected hosts attacking one's enterprise. ANSD does not speak of neutralizing agents in the eight fictional cases the comprise the bulk of the book, but those chapters make for thought-provoking reading.

The first eight chapters present creative scenarios where digital strike-back may or may not be justified. Chapter 1 explains how a PDA user retaliates against a miscreant who installs a backdoor on his Pocket PC device. This is a highly technical section where ARM assembly language and virus creation are discussed. In chapter 2 a rogue wireless cafe employee sets up a man-in-the-middle attack to steal customer credit card data. Chapter 3 shows how a game developer retaliates against a software thief. Chapter 4 demonstrates the trouble in which a system administrator can find himself when he installs an unauthorized VPN connection. Chapter 5 -- probably my favorite -- describes hardware and software keyloggers, along with Bluetooth monitoring, to catch a college campus intruder. In chapter 6 two over-zealous administrators decide to patch any machines which attack their honeypots. Chapter 7 is another creative section, where attacker and defender fight for control of a network using unorthodox methods. In chapter 8, a security audit reveals a rogue member who tries to infiltrate a government agency.

I liked all of these chapters. I had a slight problem following the logic in chapter 3, where it was unclear how the intruder compromised sshd to access the victim's system.
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