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Network Intrusion Detection (3rd Edition)
ISBN 0735712654 / 9780735712652 / 0-7357-1265-4
Publisher Sams Publishing
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Network Intrusion Detection: An Analyst's Handbook explains some of what you need to know to prevent unauthorized accesses of your networked computers and minimize the damage intruders can do. It emphasizes, though, proven techniques for recognizing attacks while they're underway. Without placing too much emphasis (or blame, for that matter) on any operating system or other software product, author Stephen Northcutt explains ways to spot suspicious behavior and deal with it, both automatically and manually.
The case studies, large and small, are the best part of this book. Northcutt opens with a technical brief on the methods used by Kevin Mitnick in his attack upon Tsutomu Shimomura's server. In documenting that famous attack, Northcutt explains SYN flooding and TCP hijacking with clarity and detail: readers get a precise picture of what Mitnick did and how Shimomura's machine reacted. A former security expert for the U.S. Department of Defense, Northcutt explains how a system administrator would detect and defeat an attack like Mitnick's. Another case study appears later in the book, this one in the form of a line-by-line analysis of a .history file that shows how a bad guy with root privileges attacked a Domain Name System (DNS) server. Reading Northcutt's analysis is like reading a play-by-play account of a football match. Network Intrusion Detection is one of the most readable technical books around. --David Wall
Topics covered: Catching intruders in the act by recognizing the characteristics of various kinds of attacks in real time, both manually and with the use of filters and other automated systems; techniques for identifying security weaknesses and minimizing false security alarms. [via]