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Hackers Beware
Hackers Beware
2001

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  1. How to hack stuff

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Nothing to see here, please move along
Nothing to see here, please move along
Nothing to see here, please move along
Nothing to see here, please move along
Nothing to see here, please move along
Nothing to see here, please move along
Nothing to see here, please move along


In Hackers Beware, Eric Cole succeeds in explaining how hackers break into computers, steal information, and deny services to machines' legitimate users. An intended side effect of his documentary efforts is a feeling for how network-connected computers should be configured for maximum resistance to attack. Cole, who works with the attack-monitoring SANS Institute as an instructor and security consultant, conveys to his readers specific knowledge of offensive and defensive weaponry as well as general familiarity with attack strategies and good security practices. Hackers Beware is a good primer and really earns its price by going into enough detail to enable readers to actually do something to make their resources safer. It also enables its readers to understand more specialized security texts, including Stephen Northcutt's fine Intrusion Signatures and Analysis. Cole's didactic style is largely conversational, embracing the fact that most computer exploits can be conveyed as stories about what hackers want and the steps they take to achieve their goals. He punctuates his prose passages with line drawings that clarify what gets passed among the machines involved in an attack, and pauses frequently to show programs' user interfaces and passages from their logs. Cole explains all the jargon he uses--a characteristic that alone distinguishes this book from many of its competitors.

Topics covered: What motivates black-hat hackers, and the technical means they use to go about satisfying their ambitions. General attack strategies--spoofing, password cracking, social engineering, and buffer overflows, among others--are explained, and the tools used to carry them out are catalogued. The same goes for defensive tools and practices.

  


What is this?

A while back I wrote an article on my blog listing all the books that hackers recommended to each other from the site HackerNews. The purpose was to provide a place to list book recommendations so that people didn't have to type in the same list over and over again. (HN gets several requests for book recommendations a week. I also get at least a couple each month). It was very well received, and many posters and commenters either asked that I make a site or sent me an email asking me to do so.

How is this any different from the list on the blog?

This list has more books. This list is sortable both by what question you have and your skill level. In addition, once you sort the list, you can save the link with your sort and send it to somebody else. So, for instance, when somebody wants a book for noobs learning to program, you can make a link for that and then reuse it

How did you collect these books?

Initially the list came from Googling HackerNews.com "best book" and taking the books from the first few pages returned. Later, I added all the books that were mentioned "You left that out!" when Jacques posted the link. While adding those books, I came across a Stack Overflow link where programmers were asked to list their favorite tech books, so I included those too.

If I ask you to put a book on here, will you?

It depends.

These books were all gathered by finding places where hackers hang out and are suggesting books to other hackers and other hackers agree with them by voting up their suggestion. If I can find an example of this for your book, I'm happy to include it.

How are the books ranked?

I did the best I could with ranking. I am sure there are many things you do not agree with. It would be possible to add voting and personal ranking -- that would make the system much better. Heck, you could rank the books yourself and use it as a customized book list to show to people who want your advice. I'd like to do that, but if I've learned anything is to not let your featureset get ahead of the users. This first version will test the waters to see what kind of interest the community might have.