FOREWORD - Hacking Exposed 7: Network Security Secrets and Solutions (2012)

Hacking Exposed 7: Network Security Secrets and Solutions (2012)


The term cyber-security and an endless list of words prefixed with “cyber” bombard our senses daily. Widely discussed but often poorly understood, the various terms relate to computers and the realm of information technology, the key enablers of our interrelated and interdependent world of today. Governments, private and corporate entities, and individuals are increasingly aware of the challenges and threats to a wide range of our everyday online activities. Worldwide reliance on computer networks to store, access, and exchange information has increased exponentially in recent years. Include the almost universal dependence on computer-operated or computer-assisted infrastructure and industrial mechanisms, and the magnitude of the relationship of cyber to our lives becomes readily apparent.

The impact of security breaches runs the gamut from inconvenience to severe financial losses to national insecurity. Hacking is the vernacular term, widely accepted as the cause of these cyber insecurities, which range from the irritating but relatively harmless activities of youthful pranksters to the very damaging, sophisticated, targeted attacks of state actors and master criminals.

Previous editions of Hacking Exposed™ have been widely acclaimed as foundation documents in cyber-security and are staples in the libraries of IT professionals, tech gurus, and others interested in understanding hackers and their methods. But the authors know that remaining relevant in the fast-changing realm of IT security requires agility, insight, and deep understanding about the latest hacking activities and methods. “Rise and rise again…,” from the movie Robin Hood, is a most appropriate exhortation to rally security efforts to meet the relentless assaults of cyber hackers.

This Seventh Edition of the text provides updates on enduring issues and adds important new chapters about Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs), hardware, and embedded systems. Explaining how hacks occur, what the perpetrators are doing, and how to defend against them, the authors cover the horizon of computer security. Given the popularity of mobile devices and social media, today’s netizens will find interesting reading about the vulnerabilities and insecurities of these common platforms.

The prerequisite for dealing with these issues of IT and computer security is knowledge. First, we must understand the architectures of the systems we are using and the strengths and weaknesses of the hardware and software. Next, we must know the adversaries: who they are and what they are trying to do. In short, we need intelligence about the threats and the foes, acquired through surveillance and analysis, before we can begin to take effective countermeasures. This volume provides the essential foundation and empowers those who really care about cyber-security.

If we get smart and learn about ourselves, our devices, our networks, and our adversaries, we will find ourselves on a path to success in defending our cyber endeavors. What remains is the reality of change: the emergence of new technologies and techniques and the constant evolution of threats. Hence, we must “rise and rise again…” to stay abreast of new developments, refreshing our intelligence and acquiring visibility and insight into attacks.

This new edition of Hacking Exposed™ helps you to get smart and take effective action. The lambs may indeed become the lions of cyber-security.

William J. Fallon
Admiral, U.S. Navy (Retired)
Chairman, CounterTack, Inc.

Admiral William J. Fallon retired from the U.S. Navy after a distinguished 40 year career of military and strategic leadership. He has led U.S. and Allied forces in eight separate commands and played a leadership role in military and diplomatic matters at the highest levels of the U.S. government. As head of U.S. Central Command, Admiral Fallon directed all U.S. military operations in the Middle East, Central Asia, and Horn of Africa, focusing on combat efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Chairman of the Board of CounterTack Inc., a new company in the cyber-security business, Admiral Fallon is also a partner in Tilwell Petroleum, LLC, advisor to several other businesses, and a Distinguished Fellow at the Center for Naval Analyses. He is a member of the U.S. Secretary of Defense Science Board and the Board of the American Security Project.