Anti-Hacker Tool Kit (4th ed)

Mike Shema

Published by

McGraw Hill

ISBN

9780071800143

RRP

£33.99

Reviewed by

 Dave Hay MBCS CITP, Infrastructure and Cloud Capability Lead, IBM Software Services for WebSphere (ISSW)

Score

8 out of 10

As someone with an active interest in IT security, and as someone who practices in the area, albeit from an IT infrastructure perspective, I am always looking for new insights into the tools, techniques and tricks of the trade.

This book absolutely lives up to its title, as it is an A-Z cookbook, taking the reader through the details of building a full penetration testing environment, using freely available and, in many cases, open source software.

If I have one niggle it's that the book does not immediately set out the context of IT security in general or in specific, choosing to jump right on into the detail. As an example, the book starts with a chapter on source code management, specifically Git, which is an interesting choice.

I would have preferred to see more detail on the typical vulnerabilities of common IT systems, perhaps with examples of "popular" attack vectors and well-known security breaches, also emphasising that security is as much about the people as the technology.

If one is looking for a primer on IT, including application development, virtualisation, Unix/Linux etc., this book is definitely worth adding to one's library.

In terms of the specific intention, the book gets back into gear from chapter 2 onwards, focusing on vulnerability scanning, auditing and monitoring, continuing to develop on the tooling theme from the earlier chapters.

Whilst this is definitely a book that one can and should read from (virtual) cover to cover, it's also useful to dip into for specific pieces of advice and guidance.

For anyone interested in IT security - and we should ALL be very interested in IT security - this book is one that I would strongly recommend adding to the library of must-read books.

Equally, I would also encourage this book to be part of any IT curriculum, as it is a relatively concise (~450 page ) tutorial for any budding practitioner of the art.

In conclusion, I recommend this book to anyone keen to know more about information security, software engineering and the fundamental building blocks of modern computer systems.

Further information: McGraw Hill

December 2014