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Silence on the Wire: A Field Guide to Passive Reconnaissance and Indirect Attacks Paperback – April 15, 2005
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A series of explorations that take our professional paranoid mentality and examine some issues we seldom consider. -- Internet Review Project, July 2005
A very good introduction to the intricacies of certain security problems and a very extensive guide to passive reconnaissance. -- Help Net Security, June 24, 2005
An innovative twist on otherwise boring aspects of network security hours of enjoyable reading for any self-proclaimed security enthusiast. -- TechIMO, June 3, 2005 http://www.techimo.com/articles/i249.html
Do-it-yourself ethos pervades the book... this broad mindset can uncover major security flaws but not where youd think. -- Enterprise Systems, June 22, 2005 http://www.esj.com/Security/article.aspx?EditorialsID=1426
I was hooked... I give this book a 7 out of 10 for an interesting read. -- Edmonton Linux User Group, June 2005
If you are a 'hacker' type in the old sense of the word... you will probably find this book intriguing. -- ;login:, October 2005
Not only thinking outside the box, but twisting the box, shaking it, and finding a way to exploit it. -- WatchGuard Wire, June 13, 2005 http://www.watchguard.com/RSS/showarticle.aspx?pack=RSS.SotW
The discovery of a technical book in this style is cool. -- IEEE Cipher, May 14, 2005 http://www.ieee-security.org/Cipher/BookReviews/2005/zalewski_by_bruen.html
This follows the story of a piece of information from the first key-press to the other end of the wire. -- Book News UK, May 17, 2005 http://www.booknews.co.uk/
What makes it a joy to read are the author's appealing humility, sense of humor and vast knowledge. -- Open.ITWorld.com, June 1, 2005 http://open.itworld.com/5040/nls_unixsilencewire050602/page_1.html
About the Author
Michal Zalewski is an internationally recognized information security expert with a long track record of delivering cutting-edge research. He is credited with discovering hundreds of notable security vulnerabilities and frequently appears on lists of the most influential security experts. He is the author of Silence on the Wire (No Starch Press), Google's "Browser Security Handbook," and numerous important research papers.
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The bar of entry is high for this book, but I would still highly recommend it to anyone who asked.
Excellent work, Zalewski.
latest application exploits or generalized security trends and attack
prevention. Zalewski deals in the minutia. If you were to construct
a Bell Curve of security knowledge and concepts, you would need to
chop out a large portion of this graph and simply include the upper
threshold, in which Zalewski thrives on the seemingly unknown.
Zalewski takes a bottom-up approach. He dives right into the security
of hardware design, Random Number Generation, and how this can all add
up to information leakages otherwise known as security threats. If
you have ever typed on a keyboard, then you may be interested in
knowing what signature you are generating of yourself every time you
log into that remote SSH console. Perhaps you might also be
interested in the fact that simple mathematical operations, such as 2
* 100, could result in timing attacks against your algorithm, whereas
100 * 2 may not. Scary stuff.
Zalewski continues with seemingly innocuous attacks that can occur
before your IP packets ever leave the local network. It is unnerving
to find out just how easy (and cheap) it is to reconstruct data from
those blinking lights on your network equipment, or unsanitary
Ethernet frames. Have you ever given thought to how nice it was to
have virtual network auto-configuration on your switches? Well, so do
Once your packets touch other nodes all across the Internet, that's
when the real fun begins. If you are already familiar with the OSI
Model and the TCP/IP suite, then your reading will hit a low point for
the next thirty pages or so. However, when you emerge from this sand
trap of common knowledge, most certainly provided to assist uninformed
readers, you are met with quite worthy knowledge detailing the ability
to accurately identify remote parties, who otherwise may wish to
remain anonymous. Your choice of Operating System and Web Browser may
help somewhat, but Zalewski shows how you can still be sniffed out
even across the sea of the Internet.
Zalewski concludes the book with a brief look at the entire Internet
as an aggregate system, and how subtleties of its inner-workings can
be exploited by those who understand them. It never once crossed my
mind to utilize carefully constructed packets for distributed
computing tasks acting as Boolean operations, but one of the final
topics regarding parasitic storage does appear quite attainable.
Zalewski's final chapter in the book leaves us with the lesson that
sometimes all you need to do to discover the minutia, is to open your
* p. 127: Figure 9-6, regarding TCP options, is incorrect.
* p. 182/183: '6,4512' should read '64,512'.
* p. 198: 'user-racking' should read 'user-tracking'.
* p. 216: '[...] should likely read '[...]
* p. 233: 'recover the information he when it bounces back' should
likely read 'recover the information when it bounces back'.
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