Reverse Deception

Sean Bodmer et al

Published by

McGraw Hill

ISBN

9780071772495

RRP

£27.99

Reviewed by

Nick Dunn MBCS CITP, Information Security Consultant, NCC Group

Score

8 out of 10

Written by authors with a range of experience in dealing with cybercrime and cyber warfare, this book attempts to help the reader implement network defences for their organisation.

It concentrates largely on a honeypot style approach and discusses the value of diverting attackers and isolating malware and Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) for further analysis.The book is essentially a guide to managing such an approach and justifying it to whoever controls the budget.

It gives high-level overviews of various aspects of the subject and background material, but detailed technical discussions in regard to real-world implementation or in relation to the legal issues surrounding the area are absent.

As a result of this approach, it can’t be relied on as a single reference for anyone involved in implementing such a strategy and additional technical and legal references will be essential for such a project.

The value of blocking and misdirecting intruders is explained both with case studies and discussions of risk management, attacker profiling and some discussion of the role of deception in traditional warfare. While going to such lengths may be viable for security services or other government agencies, a commercial enterprise may find it harder to justify the time and expense needed to manage such a specialist operation.

The authors put forward a very good case for implementing such solutions, though the absence of suitable skills and amount of man-hours required may be enough to put off most organisations.

The use of multiple authors is occasionally visible in the writing style as at least one of the authors uses quotes to illustrate his points. Quotes appear at least once per page (mostly from Sun Tzu’s The Art of War) throughout some chapters and are completely absent from others. This doesn’t detract from the book’s readability and it stands as a highly interesting, if technically light, introduction to the subject.

Further information: McGraw Hill

December 2012