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Security Engineering: A Guide to Building Dependable Distributed Systems [Hardcover]

by Ross J. Anderson
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 14, 2008 0470068523 978-0470068526 2
The world has changed radically since the first edition of this book was published in 2001. Spammers, virus writers, phishermen, money launderers, and spies now trade busily with each other in a lively online criminal economy and as they specialize, they get better. In this indispensable, fully updated guide, Ross Anderson reveals how to build systems that stay dependable whether faced with error or malice. Here?s straight talk on critical topics such as technical engineering basics, types of attack, specialized protection mechanisms, security psychology, policy, and more.

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Security Engineering: A Guide to Building Dependable Distributed Systems + University of Maryland: Custom Textbook for CSEC 630 + Computer and Information Security Handbook, Second Edition
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"At over a thousand pages, this is a comprehensive volume." Engineering & Technology Saturday 7 June 2008

From the Back Cover

"Security engineering is different from any other kind of programming. . . . if you're even thinking of doing any security engineering, you need to read this book."
— Bruce Schneier

"This is the best book on computer security. Buy it, but more importantly, read it and apply it in your work."
— Gary McGraw

This book created the discipline of security engineering

The world has changed radically since the first edition was published in 2001. Spammers, virus writers, phishermen, money launderers, and spies now trade busily with each other in a lively online criminal economy — and as they specialize, they get better. New applications, from search to social networks to electronic voting machines, provide new targets. And terrorism has changed the world. In this indispensable, fully updated guide, Ross Anderson reveals how to build systems that stay dependable whether faced with error or malice.

Here's straight talk about

  • Technical engineering basics — cryptography, protocols, access controls, and distributed systems
  • Types of attack — phishing, Web exploits, card fraud, hardware hacks, and electronic warfare

  • Specialized protection mechanisms — what biometrics, seals, smartcards, alarms, and DRM do, and how they fail

  • Security economics — why companies build insecure systems, why it's tough to manage security projects, and how to cope

  • Security psychology — the privacy dilemma, what makes security too hard to use, and why deception will keep increasing

  • Policy — why governments waste money on security, why societies are vulnerable to terrorism, and what to do about it


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1080 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 2 edition (April 14, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470068523
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470068526
  • Product Dimensions: 3 x 3.8 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #107,198 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
For the typical busy security professional, reading a 900-page tome cover to cover represents an investment of time that may be difficult to justify. Frankly, security books that are worth the effort are few and far between. Security Engineering is one such book, for several reasons.

First, Ross Anderson's vast knowledge, experience and insight on the subject are well known, and his reputation as one of the top security experts in the world is well deserved. No doubt a reflection of this, his book covers a very broad range of security topics, the discussions ranging from high-level policy issues, all the way down to details of smartcard hacking and the mathematics of cryptography. The topics are well researched and described at a level of detail useful to the non-specialist. Concise summaries and occasional nuggets of insight indicate an in-depth understanding of the subject matter. The book is well written, easy to follow, and devoid of the vagueness and platitudes so typical of much of the security literature.

Second, the book exposes the sheer difficulty of engineering secure systems in the face of the many forces at play in a typical product development lifecycle. Through many case studies of success and failure, the author illustrates the numerous pitfalls that may befall even a well-intentioned design. Lessons learned from deploying products in the real world include the negative impact of perverse economic incentives, the importance of designing security features for maximum usability, and the need to look at a security problem from many different angles in a holistic manner. The book is a treasure trove of wisdom for the aspiring security engineer.

Lastly, the book brings together insight from many diverse areas of research.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, readable, current January 16, 2011
By Greg
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Certainly a top 5 in its space. Especially notable for its broad coverage and excellent references to other more detailed material. This is a very worthwhile update from the first edition (which is freely available from the author's web site as a PDF).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good May 4, 2012
Format:Hardcover
I've had this book on my shelf for a while because the beginning of the book kept losing me, but after getting through the first couple of chapters it starts getting very interesting and I found it to be extremely mind opening. Loved all the various topics ranging from Cryptography to "Nuclear Command and Control" (yeah) to cheating in online video games. Examining these many different genres of security helps you think about security from more angles. An essential book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Solid security book March 16, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Houses several of the most concepts in a readily accessible fashion. Outside of the CISSP book this one I a solid second to own.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Textbook Purchase Review May 15, 2012
By Ben
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have just started a course in Security Engineering with the recommended Security Engineering Textbook which I am reviewing. I found the text simple to understand, full of examples that illustrate concepts and I think I enjoy using it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lots of Info February 16, 2012
By cfinn
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A superb guide to the vast field of security in our technology. Excellent writing style & very informative. Definitely recommend this book if you are into computers and/or security.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Security Book May 22, 2011
Format:Hardcover
This has got to be, hands down, one of the best security books that I have ever read. I ended up in a class where this was the text and groaned when I saw how thick it was, but it really doesn't read that way. It's full from cover to cover of great examples, including everything from infosec to physsec. It's definitely written to be a textbook, but is completely readable and will leave you with a much better understanding of how security engineering works. Awesome read!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Resource October 22, 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book has been the definitive guide for my embedded and distributed cryptosystems projects thus far. The writing is good--easy and fun to read. The content is incredible, and Bruce Schneier's approval doesn't hurt. I don't think I've ever learned as much in as few pages before.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Worst Book Ever!!
I am a college freshman majoring in Computer Science and I have never come across a book so bad at explaining things. Read more
Published 20 days ago by Prithaj nath
5.0 out of 5 stars this book covers many topics thoroughly
It goes very deep into the heart of security with many technical examples and real world security issues that companies have faced in the past as well as how they were resolved.
Published 1 month ago by D. Behrman
5.0 out of 5 stars A good overview of what security is
This book was has stories about the information security challenges in all parts of life. For a technical book I surprisingly found it a gripping page turner. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Eric Biederman
5.0 out of 5 stars No other book on the subject has the scope of this classic.
Excellent survey of the subject. Anderson covers the subject matter completely. Start with this book for your study of Security Engineering. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Michael P. Rioux
5.0 out of 5 stars I am satisfy with the way i was treated especially with the online...
I am satisfy with the way i was treated especially with the online support and i am enjoying the reading
Published 4 months ago by Eric
5.0 out of 5 stars Great guide
The book is comprehensive and up-to-date on security for systems which is my line of work. It is recommended by others needing information in security.
Published 5 months ago by Rich
3.0 out of 5 stars Explanation of one-time pads is ... sorry ... WRONG.
I read on page 133 that "the price of the perfect secrecy of the one-time pad is that it fails completely to protect message integrity. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Marc W. Abel
5.0 out of 5 stars The Comprehensive Security Engineering Reference
Anderson's update to his classic reference book is a worthwhile addition to the bookshelf of any system administrator or enterprise architect. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Scott Cromar
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