Backtrack 5 Cookbook Review

My friends at Packt provided me with a copy of their latest book (released December 2012) about Internet security and penetration testing - BackTrack 5 Cookbook. This book gives a good starting point for exploring the world of security and can be of huge use to system administrators, security specialist, programmers. 

The book covers a wide array of topics such as Asterisk penetration testing, encrypting information and even recovering lost Windows passwords.

To start with, the book guides you through the installation process of Backtrack, this popular Linux security distribution. Having Backtack is useful for penetration testing and security analysis because it's an all in one solution bundled with every possible tool needed. What I like most is the attention to the detail where the installation of every driver is explained. As we all know, having the right driver is essential especially for the wireless network analysis.

Backtrack 5 Cookbook

Once you've got the right environment, the book shows you how to start your journey into security by exploring the networks maps. You learn how to find out open ports and interesting services. In penetration testing, this information shows you how to design better your network and configure your firewall. 

After having your network map you can further explore vulnerabilities for the specific services you have. The book covers different topics on Windows and Linux vulnerabilities, on local and remote exploits. Having such extremely valuable information allows you to take measures and patch vulnerabilities, hopefully before someone else has discovered them before you.

The last chapters of the book are more generic and cover voip and password cracking. Understanding these methods are beneficial for better designing your applications, configuring your servers and of course configuring your password policies. 

The final chapter is about forensics. Special attention has been paid to intrusion detection systems(IDS) and Snort in particular. Understanding IDS is the key to modern Internet security where your defense against threats should be pro-active and cover unknown potential vulnerabilities. 

The book is really valuable in the war against cyber crime and should be a daily reference for everyone concerned.


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