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Hacking: The Next Generation (Animal Guide) 1st Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0596154578
ISBN-10: 0596154577
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Nitesh Dhanjani is a well known security researcher, author, and speaker. Dhanjani is currently Senior Manager at a large consulting firm where he advises some of the largest corporations around the world on how to establish enterprise wide information security programs and solutions. Dhanjani is also responsible for evangelizing brand new technology service lines around emerging technologies and trends such as cloud computing and virtualization.

Prior to his current job, Dhanjani was Senior Director of Application Security and Assessments at a major credit bureau where he spearheaded brand new security efforts into enhancing the enterprise SDLC, created a process for performing source code security reviews & Threat Modeling, and managed the Attack & Penetration team.

Dhanjani is the author of "Network Security Tools: Writing, Hacking, and Modifying Security Tools" (O'Reilly) and "HackNotes: Linux and Unix Security" (Osborne McGraw-Hill). He is also a contributing author to "Hacking Exposed 4" (Osborne McGraw-Hill) and "HackNotes: Network Security". Dhanjani has been invited to talk at various information security events such as the Black Hat Briefings, RSA, Hack in the Box, Microsoft Blue Hat, and OSCON.

Dhanjani graduated from Purdue University with both a Bachelors and Masters degree in Computer Science.

Dhanjani's personal blog is located at dhanjani.com.

Billy Rios is currently a Security Engineer for Microsoft where he studies emerging risks and cutting edge security attacks and defenses. Before his current role as a Security Engineer, Billy was a Senior Security Consultant for various consulting firms including VeriSign and Ernst and Young. As a consultant, Billy performed network, application, and wireless vulnerability assessments as well as tiger team/full impact risk assessments against numerous clients in the Fortune 500.
Before his life as a consultant, Billy helped defend US Department of Defense networks as an Intrusion Detection Analyst for the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) and was an active duty Officer in the US Marine Corps (deployed in support of OIF in 2003). Billy s thought leadership includes speaking engagements at numerous security conferences including: Blackhat Briefings, RSA, Microsoft Bluehat, DEFCON, PacSec, HITB, the Annual Symposium on Information Assurance (ASIA), as well as several other security related conferences. Billy holds a Master of Science degree in Information Systems, a Master of Business Administration degree, and an undergraduate degree in Business Administration

Brett Hardin is a Security Research Lead with McAfee. At McAfee, Brett bridges security and business perspectives to aid upper management in understanding security issues. Before joining McAfee, Brett was a penetration tester for Ernst and Young's Advanced Security Center assessing web application and intranet security for Fortune 500 companies.
In addition, Brett also is the author of misc-security.com. A blog dedicated to focusing on security topics from a high-level or business-level perspective.

Brett holds a bachelor of science in Computer Science from California State University at Chico.

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Product Details

  • Series: Animal Guide
  • Paperback: 298 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (October 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596154577
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596154578
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,283,180 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By N. Povoa on October 6, 2009
Format: Paperback
I'm always skeptical about books that propose to cover such a vast spectrum of subjects, the book in question however does a wonderful job at explaining in plain english what is happening behind an attack, it unveils the possible motives and end result, and I personally found it a superb manuscript on what is happening today in the fields of hacking and social engineering.

On a more technical side it covers XSS attacks and blended exploits, again in plain english. Though the authors also throw some code in there to keep the techiest of us entertained, personally I found the inclusion of code somewhat unnecessary. 'Plain english' would suffice especially because I found that this would otherwise be the perfect book to hand to someone less techy who wants to know what is happening out there in the wild and to some extent what they need to look out for if they intend to be security conscious. Could they ignore the code? sure! will they? depends on the individual and his/her aversion to programming. It still keeps its five stars though, I cant fault a book for having too much information. The book also covers phishing attacks, that chapter was a very worth wile read. I hold no interest or curiosity in phishing attacks and after reading it I was surprised on what I had learned.

The chapters on social engineering and information gathering were very interesting as well. The authors made a clear effort to mention current online tools that attackers can use to acquire information on a target (may that be a person or a corporate entity) and go into deeper detail on how such an attack can develop into face to face contact with a target.
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Format: Paperback
I've read my share of hacking books over the years, and usually most of the books focus on the same topics... pointer overflows, brute force password hacks, etc. But with all the movement towards Web 2.0, the Cloud, and social networks, is it possible that hacking vectors have shifted somewhat into areas we don't normally worry about? After reading Hacking: The Next Generation by Nitesh Dhanjani, Billy Rios, and Brett Hardin, the answer is definitely yes. There's a whole new series of things to worry about, both from a corporate and a personal level.

Intelligence Gathering: Peering Through the Windows to Your Organization
Inside-Out Attacks: The Attacker Is the Insider
The Way It Works: There Is No Patch
Blended Threats: When Applications Exploit Each Other
Cloud Insecurity: Sharing the Cloud with Your Enemy
Abusing Mobile Devices: Targeting Your Mobile Workforce
Infiltrating the Phishing Underground: Learning from Online Criminals?
Influencing Your Victims: Do What We Tell You, Please
Hacking Executives: Can Your CEO Spot a Targeted Attack?
Case Studies: Different Perspectives
Chapter 2 Source Code Samples

Yes, the deeply technical hacks still exist, the ones that rely on badly coded software to gain privileges you aren't granted. But in some ways, the hacks are getting easier, or at least more available to those who are not hardcore techheads. Take for instance, blended threats. This is an interesting concepts that shows how interconnected software environments have become. In the example they use, Microsoft had a minor vulnerability in XP and Vista, while Apple had a minor vulnerability in their Safari browser. Both vendors didn't feel that either item was critical.
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This is a great read if you are interested in understanding what types of things make your systems and identity vulnerable to hacking. I basically read it cover to cover in a single sitting, I could not put it down. This is not a book that tells you how to secure your systems against various threats, but rather explains in detail how threats arise and how they are exploited. If you are a software professional interested in building secure systems or just interested in how to protect yourself online I highly recommend this book.
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This is quite a strange book, because on the one hand it is quite technical in listing sample code, and assuming base knowledge. On the other hand it covers some really basic things in great deal, while glossing over some things with phrases to the effect of "the attacker now has access to the entire organisation's mail", when really, they wouldn't.

So there is a fair bit of fear mongering, but not because they are wrong so much as because they are skipping some steps. That, to me, seems a fatal flaw, because the technical people would say "yeah ... ok, if I assume you are as good as you claim to be", and the non-technical people are thinking this is Harry Potter, because there were some arcane script(ure)s and then stuff went very bad.

I'd say that to most technical people with a slight security focus there is nothing new in here. To the non-technical or non-security people though, who the text (not the code) is (should be) aimed at, various bits will be very off-putting. Especially the code and the jargon.

Also, this title fails to appreciate that successful attacks are not just down to people being in a rush and warning messages not being user friendly. Granted, their analysis of phishers is a great read, but I don't think it will be read by the right people. Technical aware people already know they are mostly muppets, and non-technical people won't get the joke because it is buried in php code.

One saving grace, which sadly is too little (one short chapter) and too late (last chapter), are the two case studies that conclude the book. The two case studies highlight first a very effective but non technical attack, and then rather technical attack which does feature a bit of code, but not terribly so.
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