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Penetration Tester's Open Source Toolkit 1st Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 079-2502902103
ISBN-10: 1597490210
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jeremy Faircloth (Security+, CCNA, MCSE, MCP+I, A+) is a Senior Principal IT Technologist for Medtronic, Inc., where he and his team architect and maintain enterprise-wide client/server and Web-based technologies. He is a member of the Society for Technical Communication and frequently acts as a technical resource for other IT professionals through teaching and writing, using his expertise to help others expand their knowledge. As a systems engineer with over 19 years of real-world IT experience, he has become an expert in many areas including Web development, database administration, enterprise security, network design, large enterprise applications and project management. Jeremy is also a contributing author to over a dozen technical books covering a variety of topics.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 750 pages
  • Publisher: Syngress; 1 edition (August 15, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597490210
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597490214
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,731,072 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I am not sure why Penetration Tester's Open Source Toolkit (PTOST) was published. If you have no other security assessment books, you may find PTOST helpful. Otherwise, I don't believe this book offers enough value to justify purchasing it. Other books -- some published by Syngress -- cover some of the same ideas, and 5 of PTOST's chapters are published in other books anyway.

I was somewhat confused by PTOST's approach. The book features the logo of the Auditor live CD, along with a foreword by Auditor developer Max Moser. A version of Auditor is included with the book. However, PTOST isn't exactly a guide to Auditor. In fact, only on the back cover do we see a listing of the "CD contents." This list is odd since it does not distinguish between categories of tools (e.g., "Forensics") and the tools themselves (e.g., "Autopsy"). At the very least the book should have included an appendix listing the Auditor tools and a summary of their purpose.

PTOST does not feature enough original content to warrant buying the book. I think Osborne's Hacking Exposed, 5th Ed (HE5E) (or even the 4th Ed) addresses the phases of compromise in a more coherent and valuable manner. This is especially true for Ch 1 (Reconnaissance) and Ch 2 (Enumeration and Scanning); is there really anything original left to say on those subjects? I admit that coverage of certain SensePost tools was helpful, and SpiderFoot was cool.

Those looking to learn about database assessment (Ch 3) or Web hacking (Ch 4) would be better served by Syngress' own Special Ops: Host and Network Security for Microsoft, Unix, and Oracle. HE5E has a good chapter on Web hacking, and there's even a Hacking Exposed: Web Applications (HEWA) book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Penetration Tester's Open Source Toolkit is a new offering from Syngress that primarily focuses on using the Auditor live CD. The 200605-02-ipw2100 version comes included with the book; if you have an IPW2200 wireless interface in your laptop, though, the 802.11x tools won't work as it doesn't include the proper driver.

The book walks through using a number of Open Source or free tools for overall reconnaissance, enumeration, and scanning (most of which everyone's seen before), but then it delves into database, web application, and wireless testing as well as network devices. There's a chapter on "Writing Open Source Security Tools", but it's a little misleading as it's a quick guide to writing security tools without any real discussion of open source development or what it means other than an appendix that briefly includes and talks about the GPL and why it's good.

There are four chapters on Nessus, most of which focus on using NASL and other ways of extending the venerable vulnerability scanner. The final two chapters discuss the Metasploit Project; the first of these is also misleading as it's not so much about "Extending Metasploit" as it is an (admittedly good) introduction to the Framework. The second does a decent walkthrough of developing an exploit with Metasploit, including other offerings from the project like the Opcode Database and such.

It's a very useful book; much of it you'll already know, but there's a lot of discussion about tools that I hadn't seen before. A few of the tools are mostly out-dated, and not all of them are on the Auditor CD, but this goes beyond simple discussions of nmap and whois; even some Google tools from Sensepost are examined.
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Format: Paperback
What a disappointment.

Although this book tries to be a comprehensive source of information on pen-testing, it's so riddled with technical errors as to be useless on its own.

Experienced x86 Assembly programmers will surely enjoy the discussion of buffer overflows, where the author reveals that a POP instruction is actually an acronym for 'Point of Presence' (among other gems).

Overall, I'd say that 10% of the info is usable, and the remainder is suspect.

Definitely wasn't worth the wait or the $$. Future editions might end up being worthwhile if they do some severe editing, otherwise there are many other far more useful books available on this topic.
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Format: Paperback
I found this book to be a great way to learn how to use many of the tools used in vulnerability assements/pen-testing as well as some methodology. In particular i found the chapters 1 and 2 on recon/scanning to be preatty through (150 pages to the topic). Alot of the ideas covered in these tow chapters can be read elsewhere but not to this level of complete throughness. The book goes preatty deep into not just using Nessus but how to use NASL. It also covers at an "intro-level" on testing databases (MSSQL, Oracle), Web apps, and starting to code in Perl and C#. Outside of that the rest of the book is mainly devoted to using tools with lots of screenshots which i found helpful.

My personal favorite chapter was 13. It is a very well done discussion of how buffer overflows are exploited and how to build exploits and payloads using the Metaspolit framework. The topic can be very complex yet the author managed to make it very readable. I was so impressed i decided that i will read another book by the author (James Foster) on the topic.

Overall i found this book is great for folks who already have an idea in mind what they want to accomplish. This book just tells you how to use the right tool for the job.
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