Archive for the ‘Book Reviews’ Category

Book Review: “Stealing the Network: How to Own a Continent”

Tuesday, February 26th, 2008

“Stealing the Network: How to Own a Continent” is an interesting technical hacker story. Even though the plot of the story is not very well connected, the authors develop the story using real technology to compromise computer networks, which makes you feel that this is not just a fiction and it might be actually happening somewhere in the world right now.

The book shows the intuition of people who became hackers. It also shows how the hackers’ business works and how they communicate. Many various kinds of hacking techniques and tools are mentioned ranging from social engineering, several kid hacking tool, and good (or I should say bad) uses of available legitimate resources. The authors show how hackers collaborate and make use of different types of networks and security holes to help them accomplish their goal.

Book Review: “Essential System Administration”

Saturday, February 23rd, 2008

All you need to know about managing Linux/UNIX/BSD.
At first glance, this book seems like a typical O’Reilly book: a narrow title, rich in material, and is beneficial to a much wider audience than the title reveals. It covers a wide range of system administration subjects and goes way beyond just the essentials.

Over the years, I have administered several multi-user UNIX, Linux, and FreeBSD servers. I believed that I knew the essentials, because if I did not, I would not have been able to do my job all these years. I wanted to see if the things that I learned by experience, often the hard way, are included in “Essential System Administration”. Sure enough, they were all there. Not only that, but they were laid out simply, without much unnecessary technical details, and accompanied by numerous examples and anecdotal encounters by the author. If you read one section, you would be able to apply the knowledge and skills that it describes right away. For instance, you don’t need to read the entire manual of procmail in order to write some effective mail filters; chapter 9 has a section on “Mail Filtering with procmail” that covers the essentials.