Monday, August 07, 2006

New Book Arrivals

Several books arrived at my door last week. I have time to add two to my reading list, after which I will read and review them. The others I will skim and not review, since I don't review books I don't at least try to read fully.

The first of the two books to make my short list is Syngress' Combating Spyware in the Enterprise. This book does not appear to have a lead author, but it has a technical editor and seven contributors. Sometimes this is a recipe for disaster. However, I want to read this book because it is the first on the spyware topic from one of my mainstream publishers. I also liked Syngress' related books Inside the Spam Cartel, Phishing Exposed, and Software Piracy.

The second book I plan to read is another Syngress book that I did not expect: How to Cheat at Securing a Wireless Network. This is another book in the Syngress format, with one lead author (Chris Hurley) and a ton of contributing authors. I gave Chris Hurley's previous book WarDriving three stars, but I hope this one is better.

I don't plan to read the following, but I may skim them for useful information. You can expect me to not sell these on eBay (as I'm sure some other review copy recipients do!) but I will probably give them away at NoVA Sec or ShmooCon gatherings.

Staying with the "cheating" line we come to How to Cheat at Managing Information Security. I don't plan to read this book because it seems to repeat a lot of information I already know. If this book concentrated on management issues, I would probably read it. Instead, I see short discussions of technical material across a wide range of issues. The book is probably aimed for managers who need to know some security, not security people who need to know some management. If you prefer books written by one author, though, this book is for you -- Mark Osborne wrote it.

Incidentally, I'm not a big fan of a "How to Cheat" theme, since I graduated from a military academy with an Honor Code. Staying with the management theme we come to Syngress' Syngress IT Security Project Management Handbook. This book is similar to the previous one, since Susan Snedaker wrote it, with Russ Rogers as technical editor. I'm not sure how much of this book I can skip and still feel comfortable about reviewing it. While there is more management than the previous book, I still see plenty of "tech overview" chapters. We'll see.

The last book is Cisco Press' Advanced Host Intrusion Prevention with CSA. I don't use Cisco host-based products. This book looks like a good manual for Cisco Security Agent, but I don't need to read one.

By the way, while searching I found this upcoming book: Designing BSD Rootkits by Jospeh Kong. I found this related Phrack article by the same person. I can't wait to read this book. Since that link just went did, here is another.

7 comments:

Keydet89 said...

The VMI Honor Code:

"A cadet does not lie, cheat, steal, nor tolerate those who do."

Tough code to live by, and tough to watch guys (VMI was all-male when I was there) leave after 3 or sometimes 4 yrs.

Richard, when someone was caught violating the honor code, what happened? Did you guys have a ceremony, or did the cadet just disappear?

Richard Bejtlich said...

Hi Harlan,

The cadet was often transferred to "Top Gun 41", a squadron behind a locked door (no kidding) from which there was usually no return.

This makes my hockey jersey all the more interesting!

There were no ceremonies, certainly nothing like you see in the movies.

Saad Kadhi said...

The link to the Phrack article is dead. Archives anyone?

LonerVamp said...

I wonder what Syngress was thinking with that series theme? I am glad it is in small print, because seeing that will make me think, "the real material is elsewhere, but here's how you can get by with second-rate tips and tricks." That's my impression of it... For instance, I'd rather secure a wireless network as opposed to cheat at it. Does that mean it's not really secure, it just seems like it? Does that mean securing a wireless network is so hard, that I have to take different routes?

edog29 said...

"A cadet does not lie, cheat, steal, nor tolerate those who do."

duh? this is a fine moto to live by, but too bad that military schools are just a microcosm of society. there's just as much lieing, cheating, stealing, (and other crimes!) in those institutions as anywhere else in society. this is true everywhere, including corporations, the military, and yes even those secrative spy agencies. making motos like this or writing some corporate or govt policy does not change human nature. there will always be those liers and cheaters among us, no matter where we are (how about in church)! in the security field, those are the "malicous insiders" we worry about. yes, i'm talking about you!!

Richard Bejtlich said...

edog29,

Are you a graduate of any school with an honor code?

Keydet89 said...

edog29,

I understand what point it appears that you're trying to make...however, at the school I was at, this is not simply a "moto[sic]"...it's the Honor Code.

If you re-read my post, you'll see that I never said anything about there not being those who violated the Honor Code. In fact, I referenced the process by which someone is "drummed out", implying that yes, there are those who are caught, tried, and convicted. If memory serves, a good number of the 'cases' were settled (and the individual "drummed out") as a result of the pre-trial hearing.

Is the Honor Code perfect? No. It was created by people, and it's upheld and enforced by people. It's only as good as those who honor it. And it did teach me personal responsibility..or rather, it showed me what would happen if I chose to violate the Honor Code.

I'll echo Richard's question...which school did you attend?