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Ninja Hacking: Unconventional Penetration Testing Tactics and Techniques Paperback – September 23, 2010
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"The hacking community is fraught with Eastern military comparisons. Like the ninja, we are continuing to come out of the shadows of our communal origins and grow into respected members of a larger society. As our industry matures, it demands more formal education, strict regulations and an adherence to a code of ethics. Therefore it becomes increasingly difficult to incorporate the culture of the unconventional warrior into our new world. Enter Wilhelm and Andress, who make it safe to show off your fu again. By the end of this book, the security professional is given the philosophical foundation along with a practical framework from which to leverage the way of the ninja. What could be cooler?"--Overall, Ninja Hacking has excellent relevant material and a significant amount of Ninja lore and history. While this book is not a technical reference, it is an excellent choice for someone who has an interest in Ninjas or someone who is looking for inspiration to think differently about penetration testing and security concepts. The mappings for traditional Ninja skills to the skills of today are mostly well-coupled and are always relevant to how the leaders in the field are addressing security today."----Donald C. Donzal, Editor-in-Chief, The Ethical Hacker Network
"When they put "unconventional" in the title, the authors weren't exaggerating. Perhaps the most unusual book written on computer security, this volume centers around detailed descriptions of the ethics, mindset, and tactics used in the Japanese martial arts commonly called ninja. The history of ninja fighting arts and the samurai warriors who practiced them are described in the first chapter. Each subsequent chapter presents specific ninja tactics, including intelligence, use of weapons, surveillance, and sabotage, then applies them to effective computer security management. Both authors are computer security specialists. The book also benefits from a Ninjutsu consultant, Bryan R. Garner, and a technical editor, Joshua Abraham."--SciTechBookNews
"With the good blend of historical techniques and its modern day application there is something in here for everyone."--Hakin9
"Be in no doubt, credibility is high for this book..All in all, while the writing style is light, the content is, for lack of a better term, meaty. This is definitely not recommended as an entry level book, but it is an excellent resource for penetration testers and those thinking of commissioning pen tests on their systems."--Paul Baccas, NakedSecurity.com, Oct. 25, 2011,
From the Back Cover
Ever thought of using the time-tested tactics and techniques of the ancient ninja to understand the mind of today’s ninja, the hacker? Penetration testers and security consultants perform tests both externally and internally for clients that include both physical and technical tests. Throw traditional pen testing methods out the window for now, and see how thinking and acting like a ninja could actually grant you quicker and more complete access to a company’s assets. Get in before the hacker does with these unorthodox techniques -- using all of the tools that the ninja has: disguise, espionage, stealth, and concealment. Learn how to benefit from these tools by laying your plans, impersonating employees, infiltrating via alarm system evasion, discovering weak points and timing, spyware and keylogging software, and log manipulation and logic bombs. And, really, don’t you want to be a ninja for a day just because they’re cool? Let this book be your excuse!
Top customer reviews
If you don't know the first thing about hacking and want a good read, this book will entertain you.
If you've read every other security book under the sun, you will find this entertaining, and perhaps it will inspire you to be a bit more creative in life and in work.
If you just think Ninja are cool and just want another book about them you'll find the history section fascinating.
The main premise of this book is to think differently. That is, after all, what the rogue hacker will do, and quite frankly any book that even mentions water boarding in the context of penetration testing gets a big cheesy grin from me =|D-
When I should have been reading much more boring books this one made me smile, and didn't take me off topic at all, although it's not a technical how to for hackers in any sense, but that's a good thing! I'm looking forward to having the time to sit on a tropical beach somewhere and read this again.
Thanks for a good read guys.
Good points: The section on mobile pentesting is interesting. Historical Research is complete.
Bad points: Other technical aspects are pretty much the same as every other books. For a beginner, i would recommand Professional Pentesting, from the same author.
Bottom Line: Should have been 2 books. 1 on the history of the Ninja. 1 on "new" hacking techniques. Both promised but none delivered.
Not worth the read if one has any security experience. I would certainly not recommend this book if one is technically inclined.
The book is peppered with historical parables designed to shed light on modern security scenarios and stoke interest in the material. These scenarios may make explanation of aspects of penetration testing easier to understand for non-pentesters, and they should make experienced security experts think. The book covers a broad range of concepts, from contrasting the philosophies of the Ninja and Samurai classes using stories about specific feudal lords and clan leaders to examining the rules of engagement according to Sun Tzu's Art of War. Throughout, these researched components are not only used to examine concepts of penetration and defense but also to question the cookie-cutter methodologies found in many penetration tests. However, those who aren't interested in Ninjas can skip the first 2 chapters and go directly into the chapters about stealth and misdirection and will still be able to understand the references in most of the book.
By examining penetration testing using a point of view which is not bound by the traditional rules of war, Wilhelm and Andress are able to examine what sets apart traditional penetration testers from the leaders in the field. The authors do not focus on explicit programs or tools which grant the latter an advantage. Rather, they explain how the Zukin can achieve better results than a traditional penetration tester. Approaching a problem from the mindset of an intruder who wants to obtain access without being detected changes the field of play for penetration tests in significant ways that this book is not afraid to explore. Modern techniques for advanced information gathering, social engineering, misdirection, and even sabotage are defined as extensions of the Ninja philosophy for covert and open operational tactics. Discussion of disguise, impersonation, surveillance and social engineering begins with exploration of how these techniques were leveraged by the feudal warriors.
Overall, Ninja Hacking has excellent relevant material and a significant amount of Ninja lore and history. While this book is not a technical reference, it is an excellent choice for someone who has an interest in Ninjas or someone who is looking for inspiration to think differently about penetration testing and security concepts. The mappings for traditional Ninja skills to the skills of today are mostly well-coupled and are always relevant to how the leaders in the field are addressing security today.
Originally posted by me on [...]
Reviewer: Mario Camilien, CISSP
Authors: Thomas Wilhelm and Jason Andress
Ninja hacking will continue to be a very good reference book. The process of using Social Engineering as a tool to exploit human weaknesses will continue to be enhanced. There are many ways Social Engineering attacks can be crafted. Attacks are often successful because attackers exploit our human frailties. Social Engineers are often playing on peoples' fear, vanity, and curiosity. The authors have pinpointed those areas in many good examples such the ones outlined below:
- loss of job
- loss of insurance
- current events
- academic achievements
After reading the Ninja hacking book, one will come to the conclusion that human's ability to use techniques to accomplish a stated objective is limitless. One must never assume and rely on pre-conceived notions about individuals, locations, and organizations. The methods are not new. Social Engineering is the process of using technology as vehicle to revive and enhancing old tactics.
Mario Camilien, CISSP