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Counter Hack Reloaded: A Step-by-Step Guide to Computer Attacks and Effective Defenses (2nd Edition) Paperback – January 2, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-0131481046 ISBN-10: 0131481045 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 748 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall; 2 edition (January 2, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0131481045
  • ISBN-13: 978-0131481046
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 6.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,245 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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 A book on vulnerabilities, though, will get out of date, and so we definitely needed this updated and significantly rewritten second edition.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


About the Author

Ed Skoudis is a founder and senior security consultant for the Washington, D.C.-based network security consultancy, Intelguardians Network Intelligence, LLC. His expertise includes hacker attacks and defenses, the information security industry, and computer privacy issues. He has performed numerous security assessments, designed information security governance and operations teams for Fortune 500 companies, and responded to computer attacks for clients in financial, high technology, health care, and other industries. Ed has demonstrated hacker techniques for the U.S. Senate and is a frequent speaker on issues associated with hacker tools and defenses. He was also awarded 2004 and 2005 Microsoft MVP awards for Windows Server Security and is an alumnus of the Honeynet Project. Prior to Intelguardians, Ed served as a security consultant with International Network Services (INS), Predictive Systems, Global Integrity, SAIC, and Bell Communications Research (Bellcore).

Tom Liston is a senior analyst for the Washington, D.C.-based network security consultancy, Intelguardians Network Intelligence, LLC. He is the author of the popular open source network tarpit, LaBrea, for which he was a finalist for eWeek and PC Magazine’s Innovations In Infrastructure (i3) award in 2002. He is one of the handlers at the SANS Institute’s Internet Storm Center, where he deals daily with cutting edge security issues and authors a popular series of articles under the title “Follow the Bouncing Malware.” Mr. Liston resides in the teeming metropolis of Johnsburg, Illinois, and has four beautiful children (who demanded to be mentioned): Mary, Maggie, Erin, and Victoria.



Customer Reviews

The way this book starts out is very logical, it's a progression.
Joshua A. Lampman
I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in how attacks are executed.
sixstringartist
Phase One covers Reconnaissance which includes tactics such as social engineering.
Jay

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Sean E. Connelly on February 11, 2006
Format: Paperback
Please note this review is for the 2nd Edition of this book
While "Counter Hack Reloaded" by Skoudis is an `Updated Edition of the Best-Seller' (per the book's cover), Counter Hack Reloaded (CHR) is really a new book in it's own right. CHR has gone through an extensive revision and is fully updated to meet today and tomorrow's emerging threats (i.e. wireless attacks). While 50% of the tools/exploits that are discussed in this book can be found in other `hack' books, the tools/exploits have been fully updated and document the latest commands. See page 21 of for a detailed explanation of CHR's updates.

Some quick points of interest for me:
* Page 228 - excellent, quick description of DNS's characteristics (when DNS uses UDP vs TCP).
* Page 264 - good explanation of UDP vs ICMP pings (something to remember when troubleshooting connectivity from different platforms).
* Chapter 7 - Gaining Access at the OS and App level - very good discussion of buffer overflows. The chapter also provides an updated list of access tools (i.e. WebGoat & password crackers).
* Chapter 8 - Gaining Access via Network Attacks - great explanation of man-in-the-middle attacks by DSniff and Ettercap. I also enjoyed the explanation of NetCat (everyone's friend).
* Chapter 9 - Denial of Service Attacks - the discussion on SYN cookies was new to me.

While I thought chapter 2, Networking, deserved it's place, I thought that chapter 3, UNIX, went a little off course. I also thought that the 2nd half of chapter 5, Reconnaissance, was of much more value than the first half of chapter 5. Page 138 had a weak description of salting. All these demotions are trivial issues, and do not distract from the overall supremacy of CHR.

Overall, I greatly enjoyed "Counter Hack Reloaded" by Skoudis. It is an update to a classic, that like the first edition, does not disappoint.

I give this book 5 pings out of 5:
!!!!!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Brian Bex Huff on July 8, 2006
Format: Paperback
I highly recommend Counter Hack Reloaded to anyone who wants to better understand the technical details of computer hacking / security / defense.

This book covers all the bases. It dives into details about networking, windows security, unix security, firewalls, google hacking, wireless security, the works!

It does a particularly excellent job of explaining the nitty gritty details of a hack attack, but in a way that's engaging and fun... not dry and pedantic. It explains all the tools that hackers use to break into systems, their methodology, and why your system probably will not stop them.

The author is, like many people these days, very pessimistic about the current state of computer security. Just as people are relying on computers more and more, they are becoming less and less secure. Skoudis calls this the golden age of hacking. And frankly, after reading this book I doubt anybody would disagree with him.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Charles Hornat - www.infosecwriters.com on January 25, 2006
Format: Paperback
Ed Skoudis is a recognized expert in host and network security. This is an update to Ed's previous book, Counter Hack. This time, he has enlisted the help of Tom Liston, known for his tarpit work ([...]

For those unfamiliar with the Counter Hack book, it includes details and examples on everything a security professional should know. This includes ports and protocols, UNIX need to knows, Windows need to knows, Reconnaissance, application attacks, Operating System attacks, Network attacks, Denial of Service attacks, Trojans, Backdoors, Rootkits, altering logs, covert channels, and examples of real world attacks.

For those who have not taken the Advanced hacking course at SANS, this book is the closest you will come to experiencing Ed's expertise without taking the course. Ed gives relevant, detailed examples with diagrams and charts, explains how attacks occur, what to look for, and how to defend against them. Ed's experience as a teacher allows him to explain how it all comes together in such a way that beginners and experts alike will learn.

For those familiar with Counter Hack, this book offers several updates. While there are updates throughout the entire book, the first major update is the addition of wireless hacking and war driving. Then follows a section dedicated to Bots, an expanded Web Application Attack section including new charts and graphs such as a "Web Application Manipulation Proxies" list, SQL injection attacks, and other more modern day threats. Also added are sections on Google hacking and updated sites and tools as some have changed over the years.
Read more ›
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jay on December 3, 2006
Format: Paperback
As a student studying information technology with goals of having a career in the information systems security field, Mr. Skoudis' book "Counter Hack Reloaded" provides me with an amazing resource that is helping me obtain the knowledge and skills I need to succeed in the Infosec field. His book is insightful and explains the complexity and workings of varius threats and risks to our networks and computer systems in a way that makes them easy to understand. The steps attackers usually take are broken down and analyzed along with ways to secure your systems from such attacks.

The book is broken down into different phases after the few first chapters go over the basics of networking and the major operating systems (Windows and Linux/Unix). Phase One covers Reconnaissance which includes tactics such as social engineering. Phase Two is scanning and the different methods of scanning networks, both wired and wireless. Phase Three covers gaining access to the network through attacks on applications, OSs, DoS attacks, and other network attacks. Phase Four covers maintaining access, which includes information on varius threats such as backdoors, trojans, rootkits, etc. Phase Five reviews covering one's tracks and hiding evidence of network intrusions, etc.

I recommend this book to anyone in my position of currently obtaining an education in any field having to deal with information systems. Even if security is not your main focus, the knowledge this book provides is valuable as a reference and as a way of better understanding the current threats to our organizations and the networks that make them up, both the technical and personnel networks.
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