Book Review - Stealing The Network - How to Own a Continent
I recently read and reviewed Stealing The Network - How to Own the Box (STN) by Syngress Publishing. Great read. When I saw there was a follow-up titled Stealing The Network - How to Own a Continent (STC), I had to read it too. Once again, a great read for computer and security people.
Much like STN, STC is a series of fictional episodes involving system attacks and exploits. The episodes aren't real, but the techniques and concepts outlined are definitely true to life. The main difference between the two is that STC is a cohesive series of attacks coordinated by a mysterious person in the background who wants to disrupt a continent and make a huge financial score. So while each story in STN was a stand-alone chapter, STC is more like a mystery techno-thriller that is light on plot but heavy on technical detail.
In addition to learning about attacks and how they can occur (which you can get in just about any security book), STC once again adds the color of the attacker's personality into the equation... Why they do it, what they stand to gain, and what level of effort they are willing to expend to gain their prize. I feel that most security departments fall flat in this area. They can configure and set up proper security "by the book", but they are unable to think like a cracker and anticipate the unexpected. That's probably where this book (actually, both books) adds the most value to the collection of security knowledge and wisdom that's available on the technical bookshelves today.
If you're looking for a techno-thriller novel that reads like Tom Clancy, this isn't your book. But if you're looking for solid security information told in a colorful and unusual manner that will cause you to question your own security awareness, you found what you're looking for...