In defending your systems against intruders and other meddlers, a little knowledge can be used to make the bad guys--particularly the more casual among them--seek out softer targets. Counter Hack aims to provide its readers with enough knowledge to toughen their Unix and Microsoft Windows systems against attacks in general, and with specific knowledge of the more common sorts of attacks that can be carried out by relatively unskilled "script kiddies.
" The approach author Ed Skoudis has chosen is effective, in that his readers accumulate the knowledge they need and generally enjoy the process.
The best part of this book may be two chapters, one each for Windows and Unix, that explain the essential security terms, conventions, procedures, and behaviors of each operating system. This is the sort of information that readers need--a Unix person getting into Windows administration for the first time needs an introduction to the Microsoft security scheme, and vice versa. A third chapter explains TCP/IP with focus on security. With that groundwork in place, Skoudis explains how (with emphasis on tools) attackers look for vulnerabilities in systems, gain access, and maintain their access for periods of time without being discovered. You'll probably want to search online resources for more specific information--Skoudis refers to several--but this book by itself will provide you with the vocabulary and foundation knowledge you need to get the details you want. --David Wall
Topics covered: How black-hat hackers work, what tools and techniques they use, and how to assess and improve your systems' defenses. The author explains how Windows, Unix, and TCP/IP can be exploited for nefarious purposes, and details a modus operandi that's typical of the bad guys.