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Hacking Exposed Windows: Microsoft Windows Security Secrets and Solutions, Third Edition 3rd Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0071494267
ISBN-10: 007149426X
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Joel Scambray, CISSP, is Chief Strategy Officer at Leviathan Security Group (leviathansecurity.com). His nearly 15 years of information security experience encompasses roles as a corporate leader (senior management positions at Microsoft and Ernst & Young), entrepreneur (co-founder of Foundstone), successful technical consultant for Fortune 500 firms, and internationally recognized speaker and author of multiple security books, including all five editions of Hacking Exposed: Network Security Secrets & Solutions.

Stuart McClure, CISSP, an independent computer security consultant, is one of today's leading authorities on information security. He was SVP of Global Threats and Research for McAfee where he led an elite global security team fighting the most vicious cyber attacks ever seen. Stuart is the coauthor of multiple security books, including all five editions of Hacking Exposed: Network Security Secrets & Solutions.

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Product Details

  • Series: Hacking Exposed
  • Paperback: 451 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education; 3 edition (December 25, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 007149426X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071494267
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #867,470 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Disclaimer: I received a review copy of HE:Windows.

The latest HE:Windows takes us toe to toe with Vista and Server 2008 and gives us a recap of some Win2k3 and Win2k knowledge. I was torn between whether to give this book three or four stars. I ended up giving it a four because it was well written, hit the majority objectives it laid out, and would be useful for someone that didn't have the two previous iterations, if you have the other two keep in mind there is a fair amount of content reuse and if you do this for a living, it may come up short of expectations.

The book covers a lot of ground but at the end I was left feeling like the authors were saying that if I was pentesting a Vista host or Server 2008 host/domain I should just call it quits. Going back and rereading a bit of the HE: Windows Server 2003 book I felt they said the same thing in that book as well. This obviously ended up being not the case, and I don't think will be the case with Vista and Server 2008 either. Its also not a viable option for any penetration tester.

Some examples of what I am talking about can be seen in Chapter 4 where the SMB enumeration examples only work against Windows 2000 and maybe Windows XP SP1. No mention of how to actually start pulling that information out from current environments. The Active Directory section reused the old content and made no discussion of any current tools or changes in 2003 environments and 2008 environments which have pretty much eliminated anonymous binds to extract information. Chapter 5, Hacking Windows Specific Services reused a lot of content which was disappointing, especially disappointing was the reuse of the smbrelay content, especially with tools that work much better like the smbrelay module in the metasploit framework.
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Format: Paperback
This book and its ilk offer precious little of any value. Of course, the book is very fat, but much of that volume can be attributed to (a) reviewing background material that has precious little to do with "hacking," whatever that might mean in the authors' stultified world view; and (b) the fact that, wherever two lines of code would suffice to illustrate a point, the authors instead to choose page-filling screen shots of nonsensical Windows tools that, ultimately, and I do mean ULTIMATELY, offer those two lines--if you succeed in hunting them down.

I earned my CISSP thirteen years ago, when it actually meant something, although the exam was--to be blunt--TRIVIAL compared to a challenging exam such as the CCP. This was before the Department of Defense legislated away the Orange Book and its associated core of intellectually vital output from leading researchers, choosing instead to buckle to the pressure of Microsoft and such (hey, they are, after all, in bed with them: one sees Microsoft Windows on even the OJCS's desktops).

Yes, modern security practitioners know a whole lot about computer and network security. That's why, almost weekly, we hear on the news about how the latest retail chain was hacked and N hundred thousand or K million credit card numbers were compromised. Your latest coterie of "CISSPs" will rush to babble about encryption, although encryption was never more than a Band-Aid approach, and the ease of stealing the keys is never mentioned.
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Format: Paperback
I've been reading and reviewing Hacking Exposed (HE) books since 1999, and I reviewed the two previous Windows books. Hacking Exposed: Windows, 3rd Ed (HEW3E) is an excellent addition to the HE series. I agree with Chris Gates' review, but I'd like to add a few of my own points. The bottom line is that if you need a solid book on Windows technologies and how to attack and defend them, HEW3E is the right resource.

It has been fashionable for the last six or seven years for supposedly "elite" security people to laugh at HE books. Sure, the books don't teach you how to find zero-day vulnerabilities or write new exploits. The strength of the HE series is in its approach. HE books teach you about core Windows security technologies in a manner that you usually can't find elsewhere. Then the authors explain how to attack those technologies, as a penetration tester might. Finally they conclude with recommended countermeasures, as available. You can't ask for more in a security book: how it works, how to break it, how to fix it. There's something for everyone -- admin, red team, blue team.

My personal favorite sections included Ch 5: Hacking Windows-Specific Services, Ch 7: Post-Exploit Pillaging, and Ch 8: Achieving Stealth and Maintaining Presence. I didn't think Ch 6: Discovering and Exploiting Windows Vulnerabilities was very strong. I was disappointed by Ch 10: Hacking Microsoft Client Apps. Client-side attacks have been the dominant security problem for enterprise security teams for the last five years. You could probably write a whole book titled Hacking Exposed: Client-Side or similar! If/when the authors decide to write a 4th Ed, I'd like to see more coverage of client-side apps, like Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft Office, and the like.
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