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on September 2, 2010
I reviewed the first edition of Hacking Exposed: Wireless (HEW) in May 2007, and offered four stars. Three years later I can confidently say that Hacking Exposed: Wireless, 2nd Ed (HEW2) is a solid five star book. After reading my 2007 review, I believe the authors took my suggestions seriously, and those of other reviewers, and produced HEW2, the best book on wireless security available. If you want to understand wireless -- and not just 802.11, but also Bluetooth, ZigBee, and DECT -- HEW2 is the book for you.

Books in the Hacking Exposed (HE) series that implement the winning HE formula do the following: 1) explain a technology, including aspects you may have never heard of before; 2) explain how to break that technology; and 3) explain how to mitigate the attack, if possible. HEW2 uses this methodology and the result is a great HE book. HEW2 is also cross-platform, usually providing advice on using Windows, Linux, or Mac OS X. Furthermore, this advice is exceptionally practical and relevant. The authors not only describe what works, but also what doesn't work. I got the sense that I was speaking with a pro who was willing to share tips from the trenches, not theory copied from a Web site.

Other aspects of HEW2 make it a winner. The authors post three free chapters on their Web site as background that they didn't want to include in the main text. Their Web site also contains code and other background material from the book, like pcap files. Although I am not on the front lines of wireless hacking, I got the sense that these authors do live on that edge. They explained Software Defined Radio, hardware specifically for attacking wireless devices, hardware mods, and other custom approaches that extend beyond normal wireless techniques. I also liked their "end-to-end" examples for attacking Mac OS X and Windows, integrating client-side attacks with wireless activities. Their use of NetMon and Metasploit was solid. Finally, I loved that HEW2 doesn't start and end with 802.11; it also incorporates Bluetooth, ZigBee, and DECT.

I have no complaints for the authors of HEW2. My only suggestion would be to incorporate attacks on GSM and other mobile technologies into the third edition.

If you want to learn how to attack and defend wireless devices, HEW2 is the right book. Bravo.
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on November 6, 2010
From a beginner's perspective, this book is great. It offers a broad introduction to 802.11, Bluetooth, ZigBee, and DECT theory, as well as scanning, enumeration, and exploitation techniques. Additionally, the first chapter does a great job of recommending various 802.11 wireless devices. The book's teaching format is not OS-specific either, as the authors will show how to use different applications in different OSs (i.e., using Chanelyzer in Windows, or Kismet in Linux).

What you should expect from this book is an INTRODUCTION to wireless hacking. Like I stated earlier, this book offers broad coverage of various techniques. The authors touch on different subjects, but they do not delve waste-deep into the details of them. Don't expect a WHOLE chapter dedicated to instruction on the aircrack-ng suite, but do expect enough instruction on how to start and run it. There are whole books and websites dedicated to teaching many of the programs covered in this one text.

The authors do a very good job of teaching you how to defeat different forms of wireless security (SSID hiding, MAC filtering, WEP, WPA, etc.). For example, a majority of the text moves in a very logical pattern - first, you learn how to scan and identify a target wireless network. You're then taught how to defeat MAC filtering (if it is in place). Afterwards, you move on to encryption cracking. Finally, you're taught a bit of exploitation.

Don't think that reading this book will turn you into a "master Wi-Fi cracking Jedi" - this mindset will only set you up for disappointment. Think of this book as a "gateway," arming you with the knowledge needed to begin a new career/hobby/whatever. After reading, it's up to you to keep learning more about the different subjects this book touches on, and maybe even discovering some vulnerabilities and/or exploits on your own.

The following lists the chapters in the books, as well as any notes:

Part 1 - Hacking 802.11 Wireless Technology
1.) Introduction to 802.11 Hacking
** Very basic intro to 802.11 theory and devices. Recommended for beginners, as the device recommendations are on-point

2.) Scanning and Enumerating 802.11 Networks

3.) Attacking 802.11 Wireless Networks
** The "bread and butter" of the book, teaching you how to crack a WEP network with data/packets recovered from the previous chapter. Very nice "Bringing it all together" section at the end that gives you the "big picture" of defeating a wireless network with a hidden SSID, MAC filtering, and WEP encryption.

4.) Attacking WPA-Protected 802.11 Networks
** Nice chapter teaching you about the vulnerabilities of WPA (i.e., decrypting network traffic, cracking pre-shared keys, etc.)

Part II - Hacking 802.11 Clients
5.) Attack 802.11 Wireless Clients
** Nice coverage of Metasploit Framework, Evil DNSs, ARP spoofing, injection, and HTTPS cookie stealing

6.) Taking it All The Way: Bridging the Airgap from OS X

7.) Taking it All The Way: Bridging the Airgap from Windows

Part III - Hacking Additional Wireless Technologies
** The last 1/4 of the book was dedicated to the below-listed wireless technologies. Don't expect too much subject coverage on them, but then again, they are not as widely-deployed as Wi-Fi.

8.) Bluetooth Scanning and Reconnaissance

9.) Bluetooth Eavesdropping

10.) Attacking and Exploiting Bluetooth

11.) Hack ZigBee

12.) Hack DECT
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on January 7, 2011
This book is a fabulous way to either introduce yourself to the world of wireless security or to sharpen your edge if you are already working in this area. The authors do a fine job of offering up a broad, but reasonably comprehensive view of the wireless security world ranging from frequently encountered technologies such as 802.11 to more exotic technologies such as ZigBee (a low powered, but high battery endurance wireless protocol used in products such as security systems and lighting controls). I had never even heard of ZigBee until I read this book, but now I understand it from a general technical perspective as well as a security perspective.

The authors follow a consistent template for each technology they discuss. They provide a detailed, but approachable overview of the technology and then explore the technology from both an offensive and defensive point of view. The authors have successfully struck a balance between explaining wireless security in an approachable manner and providing detailed hands on examples of interacting with a wide variety of tools. This makes the book a good resource for someone who might only be interested in wireless security from a high level such as an information security manager. However, it also makes the book a valuable resource for the practitioner who wishes to learn wireless security in a more hands on manner.

As an added bonus, the book includes a foreward by Ed Skoudis where Ed reveals that he has the soul of an electrical engineer. He further explains he was partially led to this discovery by a picture of Nikola Tesla shooting lighting-bolts out of his eyes. How can you pass up reading that?
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on January 29, 2011
If you haven't been in Wi-Fi since forever, then this book will bring you up-to-speed on the last 8 years of hacking Wi-Fi. This is the reference book you'll want to keep handy. What I particularly like about it is that it doesn't talk "about" hacking Wi-Fi, it actually shows you how to do it...effectively. Everything is step-by-step with explanations. Even for someone who has been in the field for a very long time, this book has much to offer in the way of reference material. There are so many tools and steps to hacking Wi-Fi (in any given situation) that it's hard to keep it all mentally straight. This book does that for you. Additionally, this book does a fantastic job of exposing programmer/developer secrets that a support or systems engineer just wouldn't know or consider. All-in-all, I would rank this book among the best, if not THE best, book of its type on the market. These guys have really done a superb job.

Devin Akin
Chief Wi-Fi Architect
Aerohive Networks
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on October 31, 2013
I own every hacking exposed book ever printed that i am aware of. These are great sources for learning and structuring skills in many valuable situations. They are based on theory and have great examples when you would use the necessary solutions to achieve of overcome challenges.

They are Great Books!! ---That is my opinion!
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on August 2, 2011
I m not a hacker, not even a script kiddy man, just a sysadmin wich has to cope with the desirata and problems of a huge administration with too little or too late formation.
And i m also a father of several teens withe several pc and security problems.

This book show me what i need most : a roadmap of the different problems , risks and tools in wifi world . With this organised knowledge i will much better be able to cope with daily activities :

What tools i need at work ?
What tools i need at home ?
For bothh what tests and verifications should i complete regularly ?
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on October 19, 2011
A masterful manual written by masters of their selected subject. Read this book, learn useful stuff. It is as simple as that.
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on October 3, 2012
The first three chapters were helpful/useful to me. After that it became Linux intensive. If you really want to hack I guess Linux is the way to go. For us windows guys this will have limited appeal beyond chapter 3. If you know Linux you may may get more out of this. I have some network background. I have CCNA and CCNA Wireless as well as CWNA and about 15 years in the industry in various support roles. Maybe great for certain audiences, it was not that useful to me.
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