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« Book Review - Rootkits By Greg Hoglund and James Butler | Main| Book Review - VoIP For Dummies by Timothy V. Kelly »

Book Review - Hacking Wireless Networks For Dummies by Kevin Beaver and Peter T. Davis

Category Book Reviews

Think your wireless network is secure from unauthorized use or attack?  It's probably not.  I just finished reading Hacking Wireless Network For Dummies by Kevin Beaver and Peter T. Davis, and this is one of the most practical books I've ever read for testing a network against attack.

Part 1 - Building the Foundation for Testing Wireless Networks: Introduction to Wireless Hacking; The Wireless Hacking Process; Implementing a Testing Methodology; Amassing Your War Chest
Part 2 - Getting Rolling with Common Wi-Fi Hacks: Human (in)Security; Containing the Airwaves; Hacking Wireless Clients; Discovering Default Settings; Wardriving
Part 3 - Advanced Wi-Fi Hacks: Still at War; Unauthorized Wireless Devices; Network Attacks; Denial-of-Service Attacks; Cracking Encryption; Authenticating Users
Part 4 - The Part of Tens: Ten Essential Tools for Hacking Wireless Networks; Ten Wireless Security-Testing Mistakes; Ten Tips for Following Up after Your Testing
Part 5 - Appendixes: Wireless Hacking Resources; Glossary of Acronyms

The target of this book is the security professional involved in testing networks to make them more secure.  There's a heavy emphasis on "ethical hacking", or learning how to test a network's security without doing harm or using the information in a destructive fashion.  A security consultant using this book would learn how to pre-plan a test, work with the company to make sure they were properly authorized, and then write up the results in a professional manner.  That aspect of the book is impressive, and it helps to frame the information in the right light (not as a textbook on how to break into networks).

From a practical standpoint, this book excels.  Each of the chapters covers the theory behind how or why a certain aspect of a wireless network would be vulnerable to an attack or exploit.  Then the authors cover a number of open source and commercial software packages that are available to focus on that area.  For instance, chapter 14 goes into why WEP encryption is flawed and how it can be broken with relatively little effort.  It's followed by an explanation on how WPA addresses some of those issues.  Finally you get coverage on available tools that are used to crack WEP and how you can use them to test your own network.

Highly practical and heavy on application...  If you're a security professional with responsibility for your organization's wireless network, you need to read this book.  And if you're a techno-geek with your own wireless network, you'll want to get this book to play around.  I know I will be doing a little hacking at Chez Duffbert...

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Thomas "Duffbert" Duff

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