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Hacking For Dummies (For Dummies (Computers)) 2nd Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0470052358
ISBN-10: 047005235X
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“…a good read…a price well-worth paying, because such works are invaluable…” (InfoSecurity News Magazine, August 2004)

“…an excellent aide…” (PC Home, August 2004)

“…should be of interest to both ethical and malicious hackers…” (Publishing News, 22nd March 2004)

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

Develop a plan to keep your information safe

Find out how to test your systems, plug the holes, and foil attackers

You'll find out how external hacker and rogue insider hacks happen, how to discover where your systems and network are weak, what you can do to strengthen your defenses, and how to prepare reports and recommendations to management.

Discover how to

  • Identify the different types of attacks
  • Create a plan for testing
  • Recognize vulnerabilities in your network
  • Prevent attacks by rogue insiders
  • Test applications, files, and databases
  • Plug security holes
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Product Details

  • Series: For Dummies (Computers)
  • Paperback: 408 pages
  • Publisher: For Dummies; 2 edition (October 30, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 047005235X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470052358
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,923,517 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By John Matlock on January 29, 2005
Format: Paperback
I used to wonder why anyone would want to break into my computer, there's not much there of any interest. Even I don't find it all that interesting. Then one day I was puzzled when my ISP asked why my machine was putting out millions of bytes of stuff to the point where it was bogging down their T1 line. I didn't know. We unpluged the machine from the network and it stopped sending. We plugged it back in and it wasn't sending. But the next day it was.

It wasn't until we got an e-mail telling us to stop sending out copyrighted movies that we realized what had happened. It wasn't anything in my computer they wanted, it was the bandwidth. Knowing what to look for it wasn't all that hard to stop. Google quickly provided links on this problem.

This book is aimed at people just like me. It gives an overall, if fairly light, view of the overall security problem. Like the other For Dummies books it has a writing style that doesn't (quite) put you to sleep. It has enough humor to enable you to get through it. It won't make you an expert, but it will point out the problem areas so that you can go deeper into those that are important to you. It's a good introduction.
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Format: Paperback
The media often mistakenly characterize hackers as bored technical geniuses. In truth, most hackers, as the media use the term, are not geniuses; they are simply adept at downloading hacking tools that do all of the dirty work for them. These so-called script kiddies often do not know what they are doing until the damage is done.

From the perspective of the victimized company, however, it's not really important who is doing the attacking; all that matters is how organizations can protect themselves from myriad attacks and tools. Hacking for Dummies is written on the premise that to catch a hacker, you have to think and behave like one. This is a well-written and engrossing book that helps the reader understand how hackers compromise computer systems and networks. Its clear, easy-to-read style won't intimidate readers unfamiliar with abstruse security terms and concepts.

The 19 chapters progress from the basics of security to the hardening of an operating system and the hacking of Web applications. While the reader is not expected to have a deep technical background, the book does go into some detail, as it must to provide a hands-on approach. For a high-level theoretical approach to network defense, look elsewhere. This is a down-and-dirty tool for ensuring that the organization's systems and network are secure.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I actually got to read this book for free online via work. However, I enjoyed it so much that I bought a copy so that I could try some of the tools out on my home network. (Word of warning: Be careful if you use these tools even on your home network, I use a separate set of computers that are isolated from the internet and that I don't mind reloading from scratch if things go wrong.) I have liked most of the Dummies series of books that I've read as they're extremely easy reading and lay a good foundation on the subject most of the time and this one was no different. You're not going to become a hacking expert reading this and it doesn't really cover programming or get very technical. What it does is give you a great overview of hacking methodologies and introduce you to a lot of the basic tools used such as nmap, superscan, metasploit, netcat, etc. It covers a lot of the major subjects such as social engineering, physical security, OS vulnerabilites, wireless vulnerabilities, and different types of attacks as well as basic countermeasures that can be taken to help protect your networks. There's also a section on how to get the all important management buy in, if you're tasked with implementing any type of security at work then this is very important. At the back is a great appendix of tools and resources which is another reason I bought this book, it can serve as a great reference.
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Format: Paperback
Update (11/2008): My review below is based on the first (2004) edition. In a comment, the author calls the second, 2006 edition substantially different. So, I reviewed the 2006 edition table of contents, except, and index available on amazon. The excerpt and table of contents did not seem substantially different to me. The primary substantive change in the excerpt (Chapter 1) are the bits about the "rogue insider"; much of the writing is word-for-word identical to the 2004 edition. Maybe the other chapters are "substantially" reworked (the index suggests many changes) but the chapters' titles, order and lengths are not much different in the 2006 edition.

This book should be titled "penetration testing" with the subtitle "without any actual information on how to go about penetration testing, per se".

There are two schools of thought about disseminating detailed information on exploiting security vulnerabilities (that "it's a necessary evil" and "it's immoral"). So, the author is in good company to be in the later group.

Only, why then WRITE A BOOK entitled "Hacking"? The title seems close to fraudulent to me. Anyone hoping to find out how to crack from this book is going to be sorely disappointed. For example, while password cracking is passably well-covered, there isn't even a mention of how crackers get their hands on password files. The author spends only two paragraphs and a few bullets on rootkits--treating them like viruses or worms--despite the fact that they are critical cracker tools. There is a lot of discussion of portscanning without any discussion of how to penetrate the systems you've scanned.

So, you say, "Who cares about would-be criminals!?" Ok, but this book is not going to provide much real value to would-be white-hats either.
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