tssci security

Silence on the Wire Review

`Silence on the Wire: A Field Guide to Passive Reconnaissance and Indirect Attacks <http://lcamtuf.coredump.cx/silence.shtml>`_ By Michał Zalewski

I am a student studying information security and I've read many books lately on the subject. Silence on the Wire is truly a unique book, and a nice change from the conventional reading material. Michał is a known expert in his field, and you can find many of his works and research in a simple search. His book focuses on the basic, yet most overlooked computer and network designs that can be attacked. In Silence on the Wire, Michał takes us on a long, treacherous journey of a packet, from when the data is first entered to its final destination. Along the way, we look at flaws in the design of computers and networks and how they are eventually exploited.

I held off reading this book all summer, after trying to read through the second chapter and finally getting frustrated with it. Chapter two is the book's downfall, as it spends entirely too much time getting to "the point" (as Richard Bejtlich puts it). Michał's explanations here were too confusing and will lose almost any reader. I think the section on the Turing Machine can be skipped over, unless you slow down and take notes and draw yourself diagrams of the information. Only then, will you probably understand what it's getting at. I'm happy to say though, reading the rest of the book was fairly easy; anybody with a background in network computing and security will be able to follow along.

Silence on the Wire is a fascinating read and I definitely recommend it to anybody who is interested or responsible for information security. Michał hopes his book will give you a new perspective on security and explore the relationships and interactions between components. I am glad I got to read this book and hope one day to contribute my own research to the topic.

Posted by Marcin on Wednesday, August 23, 2006 in Books and Security.

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