Book Review : Defense against the Black Arts


Ben Rothke write a review of a new book on hacking "Defense against the Black Arts: How Hackers Do What They Do and How to Protect against It". Authors are Jesse Varsalone, Matthew Mcfadden, Michael Schearer and Sean Morrissey.

"If there ever was a book that should not be judged by its title, Defense against the Black Arts: How Hackers Do What They Do and How to Protect against It, is that book. Even if one uses the definition in The New Hackers Dictionary of 'a collection of arcane, unpublished, and (by implication) mostly ad-hoc techniques developed for a particular application or systems area', that really does not describe this book. The truth is that hacking is none of the above. If anything, it is a process that is far from mysterious, but rather aether to describe. With that, the book does a good job of providing the reader with the information needed to run a large set of hacking tools." Ben's review.

Defense against the Black Arts is another in the line of hacking overview books that started with the first edition of Hacking Exposed. Like Hacking Exposed, the book walks the reader through the process of how to use hacking tools and how to make sense of their output.

Defense against the Black Arts is written for the reader with a good technical background who is looking for a nuts and bolts approach to ethical hacking. Its 14 chapters provide a comprehensive overview of the topic, with an emphasis on Windows.

But for those looking for an introductory text, this is not the best choice out there. The book is written for the reader that needs little hand-holding. This is in part due to its somewhat rough around the edges text and the use of more advanced hacking tools and techniques.

By page 4, the author has the reader downloading BackTrack Linux. BackTrack is a Ubuntu distro which has a focus on digital forensics and penetration testing. BackTrack is currently in a 5 R1 release, based on Ubuntu 10.04 LTS and Linux kernel 2.6.39.4. BackTrack comes with a significant amount of security and hacking tools preloaded, which the authors reference throughout the book. 
 
 
thehackernews.com

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