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Hack Attacks Revealed: A Complete Reference for UNIX, Windows, and Linux with Custom Security Toolkit, Second Edition

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Spotlight Customer Reviews

Average Customer Rating: 4.3

Customer Rating: 5
Summary: Chirillo Strikes Again, Part II
Comment: Yet again, Mr. Chirillo strikes again with another fantastic book! You rarely find a book that provides coverage of the big three of Windows, Unix, and Linux. Hack Attacks Revealed's information provide you with everything you would need to test and attempt to secure a computer system or network. As a bonus, the fully licensed TigerSuite Professional (version 3.5) is included on the accompanying CD. The thing about this book is that the information included works! You can read other books on the subject, try out the techniques and come away wondering what is going on, and why did this not work like it said it would.

What sets this book apart is the Crash Course in C Programming...this book is just fantastic...highly recommended.

Customer Rating: 2
Summary: Good Basics Forget About the Tools and Exploits
Comment: I bought the 4th edition of Hack Attacks Revealed. This whole genre seems to be drenched in hyperbole and once again the marketing machine seems to have invaded these pages. The book does have copious basic information. The Tiger Tools are a very sick joke with barely any functionality or worth. Someone really should sue. The exploit code, which is unusually copious for a work of this ilk, does not of course in the main part work and I found only a very few of the very most mundane code would compile under MinGW, Cygwin or Linux, even after downloading the libraries specifically recommended by the online support team at who, to be fair, were prompt in their reply. No manner or library-jiggling and simple repairs sufficed: you've really got to understand programming sockets in C or perl to fix the average exploit. The hype of the titles and cover blurbs for this kind of book increases every season but the delivery remains as lame as it always has been. For anyone serious about taking a practical look at hacking time spent at, or similar is in my opinion much more rewarding.

Customer Rating: 1
Summary: Doesn't deliver what it promises...
Comment: Reviewed: Hack Attacks Revealed, 2nd Edition, 2002

I must say I am thoroughly disappointed with this book. The book's description, as well as other readers' comments led me to believe that this book would have been more than just a compilation of information that could be freely obtained at the dozens of security related web sites. Sadly, this was not the case.

The bulk of the book merely describes (mostly outdated) common
attacks/vulnerabilities, without getting into much detail why they exist and the underlying explanations on how they are exploited. As such the book reads like "For Vulnerability X, Install patch Y" without getting into more detail. Heck, even Microsoft's Security Bulletins give more info that this!

Many of the "75 Top Hack Attacks" that the book promises can be freely found online (check CERT's site).

The general impression I get from reading this book is that the author tried his best to fill up space in order to deliver an impressively thick book. Was it a requirement that he include SCREENSHOTS of various hacking tools/trojans, including step-by-step INSTALL SCREENSHOTS for the included TigerSuite software? (If you don't know how to install software then you need to develop more skills before learning about hacking!). Did he HAVE to include the useless 10 year old 'how to build a modem filter' BBS textfile (which by the way doesn't filter noise on modern modems)? Did the publisher mandate that he include 9 PAGES of Decimal-to-Hex conversion tables when you could use, say, Windows Calculator to do any needed conversions?

Another thing I disliked was that Windows XP as well as Wireless networks (802.11/WEP were glossed over) were not really covered in the sort of detail that I desired.

And, although I appreciate that a basic understanding of the x86 instruction set is required for better understanding low level security issues, I really don't see the point to Chapter 13's discussion on programming "How to Draw Circles in DOS mode" using the VESA bios interface. This is, in my opinion, not relevant considering the book's topic, so why include it? (A better choice would be explaining how the stack is used in high level languages (C, C++) and how buffer overrun hacks work). If you want to learn C, Assembly, or graphics programming buy a book dedicated to these topics. I think it's safe to say that the average reader will NOT become a programmer after reading the "Crash course in C" - it's an unreaslistic expectation.

And to top it all off, the final insult to readers is the interruption of the author's hacking experience "Intuitive Intermission" with the phrase "... to be continued in: Hack Attacks Denied, 2nd Edition". I guess both the author and publisher want you to buy both books!

My chief complaint with the book is that it doesn't seem to know who the reader is. In some areas the author gets down-and-dirty technical (x86 assembly/C programming) while in others he doesn't really explain details or just mentions things in passing (case in point: nowhere does he explain workings of a typical buffer overrun exploit, etc). Also, the author really does not give advice on how to secure or harden systems, aside from "install the update patch". For a book whose focus is security/hacking that's a pretty fatal flaw.

Like I said earlier, this book really seems to me like the author just threw any material that he could find that was remotely related to hacking and presto, one hacking book ready to ship!

If you are new to either the computer or security-related fields then perhaps this book may be of some value to you. If you are not an absolute beginner and know how to search the web, then I'd say that you probably don't need this book. Even if you do buy this book, it, like any security related book, will become technically obsolete as new software/exploits/patches are found.

Quote: (under "Who should read this book?")

"The hacking enthusiast and admirer of such films as Sneakers, The Matrix, Hackers, and Swordfish"

If you still need another reason not to purchase this book, the above quote says it all!