Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Stealing the Network

Stealing the Network is a book of science fiction. It's a series of short stories about characters who gain unauthorized access to equipment and information, or deny use of those resources to the people who are meant to have access to them. The characters, though sometimes well described, are not the stars of these stories. That honor belongs to the tools that the black-hat hackers use in their attacks, and also to the defensive measures arrayed against them by the hapless sysadmins who, in this volume, always lose. Consider this book, with its plentiful detail, the answer to every pretty but functionally half-baked user interface ever shown in a feature film.
One can read this book for entertainment, though its writing falls well short of cyberpunk classics like Burning Chrome and Snow Crash. Its value is in its explicit references to current technologies--Cisco routers, OpenSSH, Windows 2000--and specific techniques for hacking them (the heroes and heroines of this book are always generous with command-history dumps). The specific detail may open your eyes to weaknesses in your own systems (or give you some ideas for, ahem, looking around on the network). Alternately, you can just enjoy the extra realism that the detail adds to these stories of packetized adventure. --David Wall

"Stealing the Network: How to Own the Box is a unique book in the fiction department. It combines stories that are false, with technology that is real. While none of the stories have happened, there is no reason why they could not. You could argue it provides a road map for criminal hackers, but I say it does something else; it provides a glimpse into the creative minds of some of today's best hackers, and even the best hackers will tell you that the game is a mental one." - from the foreword by Jeff Moss, President & CEO, BlackHat, Inc.

"...the reader will find this an informative, instructive and even entertaining book." - Managing Risk magazine


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