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Security Engineering: A Guide to Building Dependable Distributed Systems 2nd Edition

25 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0470068526
ISBN-10: 0470068523
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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

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1080 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 2 edition (April 14, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470068523
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470068526
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 2.4 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,340 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Jacob Gajek on November 17, 2008
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 By Greg on January 16, 2011
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Witek Radomski on 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 By Ben on May 15, 2012
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Taylor D. Kelley on 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 By LexLuthor on 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 By A. Hills on 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By cfinn on February 16, 2012
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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