If there's a shortcoming to this book, it's its lack of coverage of the turnkey firewall products that are becoming popular among home and small-office users. Emphasis here is on more complicated network defenses that require careful design and setup--both design and implementation are the order of the day here. The authors carefully enumerate the threats they see in various situations, go into some detail on how those threats manifest themselves, and explain what configuration changes you can make to your perimeter defenses to repulse those threats. Plenty of illustrations make points about good and bad security strategies (you want to put the routers here and here, not here or here). You'll learn a lot by reading this book from cover to cover, no matter how much experience you have. --David Wall
Topics covered: Means of protecting private networks from external security threats. The authors go into detail on attackers' means of exploiting security holes in common Internet services, and show how to plug those holes or at least limit the damage that can be done through them. With coverage of Unix, Linux, and Windows NT, the authors detail their philosophies of firewall design and general security policy.
About the Author
Simon Cooper is a computer professional currently working in Silicon Valley. He has worked in different computer-related fields ranging from hardware through operating systems and device drivers to application software and systems support in both commercial and educational environments. He has an interest in the activities of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and USENIX, is a member of the British Computer Conservation Society, and is a founding member of the Computer Museum History Center. Simon has released a small number of his own open source programs and has contributed time and code to the XFree86 project. In his spare time, Simon likes to play ice hockey, solve puzzles of a mathematical nature, and tinker with Linux.