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Googling Security: How Much Does Google Know About You?
Googling Security: How Much Does Google Know About You?
by Greg Conti
Edition: Paperback
Price: $36.58
53 used & new from $0.01

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and Compelling, May 23, 2009
In his review of this book Ben Rothke, author of Computer Security- 20 Things Every Employee Should Know (2nd ed), stated "It has been suggested that if one was somehow able to change history so that aspirin had never been discovered until now, it would have died in the lab and stand no chance of FDA approval. In a report from the Manhattan Institute, they write that no modern drug development organization would touch it. Similarly, if we knew the power that Google would have in 2008 with its ability to aggregate and correlate personal data, it is arguable that various regulatory and privacy bodies would never allow it to exist given the extensive privacy issues."

Rothke may have been semi-prescient. Google Street Maps have been encountering increasing resistance and legal issues related to privacy concerns in countries from Japan, to Germany, to England, to Greece, and others. Granted, it is a decade or so too late to protect against most of the issues Conti analyzes in this book, but it illustrates that those concerns do exist as Google continues to expand the products and services it provides on the Web.

Johnny Long has evangelized on the topic of data security on Google for years. His book, Google Hacking, is more about targeted techniques for extracting sensitive information that users should have protected better rather than an indictment of Google or its methods. But, it illustrates essentially the same point- there is a virtually endless amount of data catalogued and indexed on Google's servers and, either intentionally or unintentionally, it can have significant privacy and security ramifications.

Greg Conti's take on the subject makes for an interesting and compelling read. It has tips, but is short on actual solutions. It is good to be aware of the security implications of resources such as Google though. Give it a read.

Hacking VoIP: Protocols, Attacks, and Countermeasures
Hacking VoIP: Protocols, Attacks, and Countermeasures
by Himanshu Dwivedi
Edition: Paperback
Price: $32.46
82 used & new from $18.00

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great resource to understand VoIP security, April 7, 2009
Voice over IP (VoIP) communications are a core component of the next wave of communications. Consumers and enterprises both are beginning to grasp the benefits of VoIP communications and making the switch from traditional voice communications to VoIP.

VoIP can be a double-edged sword as well though. It provides cost savings. It adds flexibility and extensibility that isn't possible with traditional telephone communications. It enables a whole new scope of applications to interact with and leverage voice communications in whole new ways.

However, with all of those benefits, it also merges voice data onto the standard data network and exposes what was a relatively secure system to a wide variety of attacks and exploits. Traditional voice attacks like eavesdropping or wiretapping are still issues, but on a grander scale. And now voice communications can also be subjected to denial-of-service (DoS) and man-in-the-middle (MiTM) and other attacks that have traditionally been reserved for data networks.

With Hacking VoIP: Protocols, Attacks, and Countermeasures from No Starch Press, Himanshu Dwivedi explores the security issues inherent with VoIP communications and how to protect your VoIP system against them.

Dwivedi opens the book by walking through how to build a VoIP lab environment to use as you read through the book to get first-hand experience and understanding of the VoIP attacks and exploits and the countermeasures to use against them. This hands-on experience helps the reader to see the attacks in action rather than just reading about them.

The book provides a good background on the VoIP protocols themselves, and Dwivedi does an excellent job of explaining the weaknesses and exploits. VoIP admins should read this book and follow Dwivedi's advice to protect their VoIP environments.

Microsoft Voice and Unified Communications
Microsoft Voice and Unified Communications
by Joe Schurman
Edition: Paperback
Price: $39.99
39 used & new from $0.57

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No better book available on Microsoft Unified Communications, March 3, 2009
Unified Communications is one of those hot, `buzzword' technologies that everyone is talking about and many are adopting, or at least exploring. However, unified communications is also a somewhat ethereal concept with no agreed upon standard for what it actually is, and a playing field that is shifting faster than customers can understand. Unified communications is important and it will transform the way companies communicate and do business so managers need to grasp how to leverage the technologies. Joe Schurman's book provides understanding that readers need regarding unified communications today, but more importantly it provides insight into the unified communications of tomorrow so that readers can develop strategies that are effective now as well as the near future.

Joe Schurman is uniquely suited to write Microsoft Voice and Unified Communications. Schurman has been involved in voice and unified communications technologies virtually since their inception. He has been a successful consultant, speaker, and trainer, focusing on evangelizing Microsoft solutions, for the past 15 years. As the Founder and CEO of Evangelyze Communications, a Microsoft Gold Partner and Voice Premier Partner, Joe continues to be a respected authority in the field and a trusted confidant of Microsoft.

I was fortunate to be able to read the pre-publications drafts and to provide my insight and feedback on the chapter dedicated to VoIP and unified communications security.

The book opens with an excellent overview of the history of telephony and the evolution through VoIP (voice over IP) to SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) and other voice protocols, the concept of Presence, and the development of what unified communications is today. Schurman then goes on to talk about the use of VoIP by the consumer market using tools such as Windows Live Messenger, an excellent look at Microsoft's Response Point phone system for SMB's, and a discussion of enterprise-class solutions built on Microsoft Unified Communications technologies such as Office Communications Server and Exchange Server.

The book then covers additional topics like integrating collaboration and speech recognition into the unified communications / VoIP environment, and how to customize the solution to extend its capabilities. This is an area that Schurman has intimate knowledge of as his company, Evangelyze Communications, has leveraged the extensibility of Office Communications Server to develop innovative products like SmartChat, and the 2008 Internet Telephony Magazine Product of the Year, SmartVoIP.

Schurman covers more advanced topics like securing and virtualizing unified communications and voice, and a chapter for consultants to help them understand how to sell the unified communications concept to customers.

Unified communications is a quickly evolving technology (or collection of technologies) that businesses around the world are struggling to understand and embrace. Microsoft Voice and Unified Communications is just the title that these readers need to educate themselves on what unified communications can do for them today, but more importantly to position themselves for what unified communications will do for them tomorrow.

Hacking Exposed: Network Security Secrets and Solutions, Sixth Edition
Hacking Exposed: Network Security Secrets and Solutions, Sixth Edition
by Stuart McClure
Edition: Paperback
74 used & new from $0.01

17 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hacking Exposed 6 - #1 Best-Selling Computer Security Book, February 9, 2009
George Kurtz, Stuart McClure and Joel Scambray have been a staple of my Information Security library since the first Hacking Exposed book. Things change quickly in the security world and the authors of Hacking Exposed 6: Network Security Secrets & Solutions have done a tremendous job at taking a great thing and making it better by updating it with new attacks and countermeasures.

Kurtz, McClure, and Scambray have maintained the core of what makes Hacking Exposed indispensible and they have once again added to and updated the information to keep the book current with the latest attacks, exploits and hacker techniques.

The basic format of the book remains the same. The beginning covers footprinting, scanning and enumeration to identify potential target systems. It then moves on to a section regarding system hacking, divided into Windows and Unix sections, then into Infrastructure Hacking with sections on Remote Connectivity or VoIP hacking, Network Devices, Wireless Hacking, and Hacking Hardware.

The appendices list commonly used TCP and UDP ports and the services that use them as well as providing a graphic representation of the Top 14 Security Vulnerabilities.

There are a handful of books that should be "must-reads" for anyone responsible for computer or network security and this is one of them. Learning the information in this book will help you learn current attacks and hacking techniques and develop effective countermeasures to protect your network. Hands down, Hacking Exposed 6 should be on every network or security administrator's desk for quick reference.

Buy this book. Even if you already have a previous edition, the new and updated information in this book are worth the investment.

Microsoft Response Point Primer Cut The Strings
Microsoft Response Point Primer Cut The Strings
by Harry Brelsford
Edition: Paperback
Price: $59.95
14 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great resource for a revolutionary communications system, January 24, 2009
Small and medium businesses have traditional analog or simple VoIP budgets. They want more features and functionality, but they can't afford a dedicated PBX or IP PBX- never mind the personnel with the skills to implement and maintain them.

Microsoft understood the needs and budgets of small and medium businesses when they developed Response Point. Response Point provides features and functions normally reserved for enterprise systems, combines them with some basic unified communications capabilities, and delivers them at a price that SMB's can swallow.

The cover of the book says "For Partners and Consultants". I agree that this is the primary audience and the group that will get the most value from this book. However, customers who have Response Point or are interested in learning more about Response Point will also benefit from reading Harry's book.

Beginning with a brief history of Response Point (and how he almost missed the meeting that got him involved with the Response Point group) and a recap of its basic features, Harry provides detailed information about how to deploy and configure Response Point, as well as how to maintain and troubleshoot the system. He provides some real-world case study scenarios and discusses advanced capabilities such as the auto-attendant and music on hold.

Beginning with Chapter 6 the book is certainly aimed more at partners and consultants. Harry talks about who the customer market is for Response Point and talks extensively about tips and advice that Microsoft Partners and consultants can use to effectively sell Response Point to their customers.

The book goes on with an overview of the available hardware options for Response Point, and the VoIP providers that are currently working with Microsoft on Response Point. It then wraps up with a discussion of the future of Response Point and a collection of valuable Response Point resources the reader can use to dive deeper and learn more. In addition, Harry has filled the book with little trivia factoids- there is a new one on almost every page.

I am perhaps not quite the evangelist that Harry is for Response Point, but I am an evangelist nonetheless. Response Point is nothing short of awesome. The features and functions it delivers with the simplicity of use and affordable price have no comparison or competition. Microsoft Response Point Primer - Cut The Strings is an excellent resource and a worthy investment to learn about this fantastic solution.

Nmap Network Scanning: The Official Nmap Project Guide to Network Discovery and Security Scanning
Nmap Network Scanning: The Official Nmap Project Guide to Network Discovery and Security Scanning
by Gordon Fyodor Lyon
Edition: Paperback
Price: $34.82
64 used & new from $27.08

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Must Have" book for a "Must Have" utility, January 21, 2009
NMap is a network scanning utility that is in the top 5, or at least top 20 list for most valuable utility for almost every network administrator, security consultant, or casual 'security researcher'. Originally written by Gordon Lyon, aka "Fyodor", NMap has existed as one of the most used tools- commercial and open source included- for more than a decade.

NMap users have also been lucky in that NMap is one of the best, if not the best, maintained open source projects out there. The software is constantly revised and updated to include the latest cutting edge features and functions. More importantly, the documentation and support available online is extensive.

Why then, you might ask, should you spend money on this book? Well, truth be told if you're trying to decide between groceries or this book, or filling your gas tank and this book- get the gas and groceries and refer to the free online resources. But, if you can spare the $50 it will be money well spent- plus it helps give a little back to "Fyodor" who has given so much to us- the networking and security field at large.

If financially supporting the person who developed this brilliant utility is not sufficient motivation, the book contains additional information you won't find online. Not only does the book cover every type of scan and assessment you can possibly execute with NMap, it also provides some background explanation for why "Fyodor" chose to design it the way he did, and a complete chapter dedicated to the NMap Scripting Engine (NSE).

If you work in IT, odds are good that you have used this tool. If you haven't, you probably should have been. NMap is simply a required tool in the IT toolbox. Similarly, this book is required reading for anyone in IT to get the most out of that tool. Spend the $50. You won't regret it.

Crimeware: Understanding New Attacks and Defenses
Crimeware: Understanding New Attacks and Defenses
by Markus Jakobsson
Edition: Paperback
Price: $56.37
25 used & new from $35.00

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive and thorough - Must Read, October 31, 2008
There was a time when viruses and worms were written primarily for the purposes of creating chaos and getting 15 minutes of fame in the malware underworld. Script-kiddies could crank out exploits that spread like wildfire and interrupted computer and network productivity, but with little impact or implication beyond the annoyance factor in most cases.
That time is gone. It has been gone for a while now. Professional criminals and crime syndicates eventually figured out that these same attacks and exploits, if properly crafted, could represent a windfall of ill-gotten cash. Rather than trying to have the greatest impact and notoriety, today's attacks seek to find a balance between compromising as many machines as possible while also staying under the radar and remaining undetected by users or security software.

The authors of Crimeware: Understanding New Attacks and Defenses have put together a comprehensive and thorough guide to current malware- which they call crimeware- and how to defend against it. Rather than go on about the scope of the book, I will just list the chapters and let you judge for yourself.

1.Overview of Crimeware
2.A taxonomy of Coding Errors
3.Crimeware and Peer-to-Peer Networks
4.Crimeware in Small Devices
5.Crimeware in Firmware
6.Crimeware in the Browser
7.Bot Networks
9.Virtual Worlds and Fraud
10.Cyberware and Politics
11.Online Advertising Fraud
12.Crimeware Business Models
13.The Educational Aspect of Security
14.Surreptitious Code and the Law
15.Crimeware and Trusted Computing
16.Technical Defense Techniques
17.The Future of Crimeware

This book is not just another compendium of malware and defensive countermeasures. This book provides that, but goes beyond that to educate the reader and provide tremendous insight about how and why crimeware works.

Swim against the Current: Even a Dead Fish Can Go With the Flow
Swim against the Current: Even a Dead Fish Can Go With the Flow
by Jim Hightower
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $25.95
138 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent View of the World, June 26, 2008
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Jim Hightower has long been a voice of reason in a crazy world. In Swim Against the Current, Jim Hightower explores the societal norms of business and corporations, and illustrates success stories of people who have gone against the grain, marched to the beat of their own drummer, and found success and happiness at the same time. You will find the book enlightening and inspiring.

The Little Black Book of Computer Security, Second Edition
The Little Black Book of Computer Security, Second Edition
by Joel Dubin
Edition: Paperback
15 used & new from $0.84

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Updated with Current and Relevant Information, June 5, 2008
The Little Black Book of Computer Security - 2nd Edition does not teach you computer security. You will have to rely on other resources to teach you the nuts and bolts of information security. However, once you understand the fundamentals, Dubin's book can be an invaluable resource to help you create an action plan and ensure you are covering all of your bases to protect your network and your data.

Dubin's book is like a portable plan of action. Each chapter contains a few brief paragraphs with an overview of the problem and why you should protect your computer. He then provides a checklist, in outline form, that a manager can use to determine if their computers are adequately protected or identify what is missing and plug the holes.

Notes, Tips, and Sidebars scattered throughout the checklists highlight the more important information and concepts to ensure you don't miss anything. In addition, Dubin provides references to let you know where you can find more detailed information for really important topics.

The 2nd edition of The Little Black Book of Computer Security builds on the original by including the vast changes that have occurred in information security over the past few years. Dubin includes sections specifically devoted to privacy and identity theft, regulatory compliance, and protecting Web servers from the next-generation attacks that have plagued web sites recently.

In addition, as if the checklist form of the book isn't compact and concise enough, the book includes a variety of appendices which contain even more compact information. The list of Web Sites to Check Daily, Tools of the Trade, and Common TCP Ports are great reference tools.

There are plenty of books on all topics of computer security. Dubin's book is unique in how it helps you apply all of the information from the other books and information resources.

Securing VoIP Networks: Threats, Vulnerabilities, and Countermeasures
Securing VoIP Networks: Threats, Vulnerabilities, and Countermeasures
by Ari Takanen
Edition: Paperback
Price: $49.79
33 used & new from $3.74

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Valuable VoIP Security Information, April 21, 2008
There are many benefits to VoIP and IP-based communications. However, relying on your network infrastructure to transport your telephone communications renders your telecommunications vulnerable to virtually all of the same issues and threats as your network. On top of that, there are also unique attack vectors introduced by VoIP. As organizations race to deploy VoIP and experience the benefits, most would probably benefit from slowing down to consider the security implications and develop appropriate controls to protect their communications.

In Security VoIP Networks: Threats, Vulnerabilities, and Countermeasures, authors Peter Thermos and Ari Takanen do a superb job of illustrating the insecurities of VoIP. Not to suggest that it is just so inherently insecure that it should never be used, but C-level execs, and IT managers and administrators should be familiar with the information in this book before moving forward to deploy VoIP.

Chapter 2, 'VoIP Architecture and Protocols', provides a solid foundation on the basic components and technologies that make up VoIP. It is the next couple chapters that are the most valuable though. In 'VoIP Vulnerabilities', and 'Threats and Attacks', Thermos and Takanen demonstrate the weaknesses of VoIP and the simplicity with which VoIP communications can be disrupted or intercepted if not set up properly.

Chapters 5 - 8 analyze different security controls and protection mechanisms. One issue I had was that it was difficult to draw a one-to-one correlation and find the security countermeasures to defend against attacks identified earlier. The information is solid though.

The book wraps up by providing a look at what a VoIP security framework should entail, and architecture diagrams to help you create and deploy a secure VoIP solution.

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