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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An expert's look at the state of the security arena
I am a senior engineer for network security operations. I have attended Eric Cole's excellent SANS classes and consider him a professional acquaintance. "Hackers Beware" is a welcome contribution to the security community. Although some of the material is redundant, you're bound to gain new insights on network intrusions by reading this book.
The message of...
Published on September 26, 2001 by Richard Bejtlich

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dated material
very good book, but the material covered is dated for the price. Not one mention of windows 2003 OR XP. The material covered is at least 3 years old. i was told this was THE book to read, but after reading through, a little dissappointed.
Published on August 9, 2005 by Joseph Cultrara


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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An expert's look at the state of the security arena, September 26, 2001
This review is from: Hackers Beware: The Ultimate Guide to Network Security (Paperback)
I am a senior engineer for network security operations. I have attended Eric Cole's excellent SANS classes and consider him a professional acquaintance. "Hackers Beware" is a welcome contribution to the security community. Although some of the material is redundant, you're bound to gain new insights on network intrusions by reading this book.
The message of "Hackers Beware" is clear: prevention is preferred, but detection is mandatory. To discover intrusions, one must understand the tools and tactics of the adversary. To this end, "Hackers Beware" devotes chapters to information gathering, spoofing, session hijacking, denial of service, buffer overflows, password security, access preservation, and log cleaning. Some of the material in these chapters is based on the "practicum" required of SANS students.
My favorite section, without doubt, was chapter 17: "Other Types of Attacks." It features many valuable essays by SANS students on BIND NXT exploitation, cookie-based overflows, SNMP enumeration, and other topics.
Publishing student material has its drawbacks, however. "Hackers Beware" is repetitive, a sin given the book's page count (778). Why include yet another explanation of buffer overflows in chapter 14, for example, when a whole chapter (7) already discusses them? (Actually, Brent Hughes' work in chapter 14 is more enlightening!) Furthermore, the "fundamentals" of UNIX and NT chapters are much less informative compared to Ed Skoudis' chapters in "Counter Hack."
I also recommend New Riders help the author overcome his addiction to "three phrase sentences," such as "Now the Internet is very popular, and everyone is using Linux because it is powerful and inexpensive, so the number of people beating on the system is very high." (p. 480.)
Future editions should reduce the number of vulnerabilities described in favor of more thorough explanations of sample exploits. For example, a virtual reprint of cDc's advisory on a NetMeeting weakness teaches me very little; providing background on the coding, system calls, and principles of this exploit is more useful. I would also pare the student-based material down to the essential core, removing generic material discussed elsewhere.
I'd almost buy "Hackers Beware" for chapter 17 alone, so I'm sure security professionals will find many reasons to enjoy this book.
(Disclaimer: I received a free review copy from the publisher.)
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gives 'Hacking Exposed' a run for its money, April 25, 2002
This review is from: Hackers Beware: The Ultimate Guide to Network Security (Paperback)
While Hackers Beware may not be the `Ultimate Guide to Network Security' in my opinion, it still is nonetheless an excellent book on how networks attacks are performed.
The book details how attackers gain access into different type of operating systems and hardware platforms. More importantly, Cole describes countermeasures to use to defend against the various types of attacks and exploits he describes.
Overall, an excellent reference for anyone needing to understand how hacking works and how to defend against them.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent security information resource, January 20, 2003
By 
Todd Hawley (San Francisco CA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Hackers Beware: The Ultimate Guide to Network Security (Paperback)
I am not a system admin nor do I play one on TV. However being a computer professional, I have an interest in the topic of network security, and how crackers and "script kiddies" infiltrate network systems. This book offers a wealth of network security information that even "novices" like myself can easily follow. And in some of the examples Cole discusses, it's almost scary to discover how easy it is for someone with even a little bit of knowledge to infiltrate a computer network. Cole's book while dauntingly large contains a wealth of information that any security professional should know about. One of my sys admin friends was commenting to me that books like Cole's allow the "script kiddies" to learn about exploits without doing any of the work that a "black hat (cracker)" or "white hat (hacker)" might do to exploit a system. However big a risk that may possibly be, I still feel it's best for any security professional to be informed about all the various types of exploits they may deal with. And with a book of this size, there are obviously lots of them to discuss.
Cole discusses exploits against Linux, UNIX, Windows, and Windows NT and the myriad of programs (password crackers, network sniffers, back door programs, etc.) designed to break into other people's systems. Each program is described in full and what it does. Cole also offers suggestions and solutions in various chapters to keep unauthorized users from accessing various systems.
While you will never be 100% safe from an "attack," Cole's book offers ways to keep your system from being attacked or ensure that the chances of it actually happening remain remote, or the "damage" from such attacks stays minimal.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hacking Exposed...expanded !, February 19, 2002
By 
Marco De Vivo "Mr. TCP/IP" (Miami, Florida United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hackers Beware: The Ultimate Guide to Network Security (Paperback)
There are four main kinds of computer security books:
1) Books containing large enumerations of known vulnerabilities and attacks.
2) Books covering the theoretical related aspects.
3) Books on computer forensic areas.
4) Some kind of hybrids of two or more of the above.
'Hackers Beware' is a well balanced hybrid of 1) and 2) categories.
I think of it as a sort of Hacking Exposed (the book) enriched with theoretical background and detailed explanations.
In the plus side, this book offers:
- Well structured by kind of attacks and by kind of Operating Systems.
- Well written chapters on Fundamentals of Unix and NT.
- The author, a recognized specialist and SANS' high rated instructor.
- Full of well documented analysis of relevant exploits.
- Discussions (although short) about 'Rootkits', 'Buffer Overflows' and 'Covering the Tracks'.
- Chapter 17, 'Other Types of Attack', specially for the PGP ADK Exploit presentation.
In the minus side:
- As a book relaying on 'current' exploits, it could easily be short-lived. If future additional editions are scheduled (a la Hacking Exposed)...OK, else ...Beware!
- Chapter 18, can be found (updated) in the Internet. Chapters 19 and 20 are just fillers.
I use this book mainly as a reference book for my (undergraduate) students.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Starting Point, June 22, 2002
By 
SimsJS (Sunnyvale, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Hackers Beware: The Ultimate Guide to Network Security (Paperback)
Although this book is useful to both beginners and security administrators, it is written so beginners can get a great understanding of what hacking is about and how to protect against it. The examples are thorough and provide step-by-step screen shots as to what happens during a certain exploit. It also tells the counter measures for each attack therefore enabling you to combat such an attack.
This book is a definate "must read" for anyone currently involved in or who wants to be involved in computer/network security.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dated material, August 9, 2005
This review is from: Hackers Beware: The Ultimate Guide to Network Security (Paperback)
very good book, but the material covered is dated for the price. Not one mention of windows 2003 OR XP. The material covered is at least 3 years old. i was told this was THE book to read, but after reading through, a little dissappointed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly comprehensive text on hacking techniques and defense, August 20, 2001
By 
Studying for CCIE Security "CCIE" (San Antonio, Texas United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Hackers Beware: The Ultimate Guide to Network Security (Paperback)
Let me first begin by stating that if you ever get the opportunity to take one of Eric Cole's classes, you are in for a real treat. He is an instructor for SANS, and I was fortunate enough to take his Incident Handling and Hacker Exploits class. His course material and teaching style is great, and if ever you are able to take a class of his by all means do so.
Now on to his book. Eric does an excellent job of not only demonstrating the newest hacking exploits, he does even a better job of demonstrating the methodology of the hacker mindset. In addition, his text explains how to defend yourself against these exploits. This is an excellent resource for computer and network security, not only because of the many illustrated hacking techniques, but more so because after reading you will be able to think like a hacker. Both his class and his book demonstrate that Eric is very knowledgeable in hacking and defense. The best aspect of the book in my opinion is the fact that when he covers an exploit, he covers it in full-disclosed detail. The chapter on the SANS Top 10 Exploits is excellent, as it describes what exploits must be fixed for any organization that is connected to the Internet. All in all this is one of the best hacking books I’ve ever read.
This is an excellent book for any potential reader who is looking for a text which gives an overall viewpoint of hacking, hacking techniques, and defending against hacks.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Security Reference, August 22, 2001
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This review is from: Hackers Beware: The Ultimate Guide to Network Security (Paperback)
I found this book to be an excellent instructional tool and reference. Each topic seems to start out at the basics but quickly gets into specifics and details. For example, in the case of the NT passwords chapter. I knew a lot of the introductory material already, but found that the author went into such detail that I learned a lot.
I choose IT books based on their 'everyday' use and what kind of shelf life they will have. I think this is an excellent book for both. There is a lot of practical information on security tools and techniques that will keep me busy for months. Additionally, the security principles are backed by specific examples. While the examples might age off as new operating systems become popular, the security descriptions will be valid as long as the Internet is around.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, a readable book about network security!, September 8, 2003
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This review is from: Hackers Beware: The Ultimate Guide to Network Security (Paperback)
I'll be brief. If you are a layman, and you don't have much expertise in the computer security field, then read this book. "Hackers Beware" does assume some prior general knowledge about networking and software, but anybody who's taken a few courses, or had a bit of on-the-job experience will be able to follow along quite well.
Even better, if you are a business owner, and are worried about the security of your network (and believe me, you should be), then reading this book will give you the added advantage of being able to communicate intelligently with you network security personnel. Further, after having studied this accessible tome, you will be able to discern as to whether your networking people actually know what they are dealing with (sadly, some don't. You know 'em and I know 'em. Yes, I'm refering to the PAPER MCSE's). Being able to speak intelligently with your employees, and put your heads together in solving the formidible problem of network security, will be of limitless benefit to you.
All in all, an understandable, mostly-in-plain-English book that will behoove all who read it.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Computer security by one of the best!, December 7, 2001
By 
Jeffrey Tricoli (Alexandria, Virginia USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Hackers Beware: The Ultimate Guide to Network Security (Paperback)
"Hackers Beware" provides a solid introduction to the basics of computer security. I have attended several of the SANS sessions and Eric Cole has always impressed me as one of the fields best teachers.
While this book is mainly for those newly introduced to the field of network security, "Hackers Beware" does offer quite abit for the more experienced system administrators. However, those of you who have been in the field for a while will find several areas that can be glossed over in favor of the more advanced sections.
"Hackers Beware" could have benefited from a more through editing job to cut down on the amount of repetitive material, but overall this is a great reference for any security professional's bookshelf.
(Disclaimer: I received a free review copy from the publisher.)
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Hackers Beware: The Ultimate Guide to Network Security
Hackers Beware: The Ultimate Guide to Network Security by Eric Cole (Paperback - August 23, 2001)
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