Book Review :: Extreme Exploits: Advanced Defenses Against Hardcore Hacks (Hacking Exposed)


Extreme Exploits: Advanced Defenses Against Hardcore Hacks (Hacking Exposed)
by Victor Oppelman, Oliver Friedrichs, and Brett Watson
Paperback: 448 pages
Publisher:  McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
ISBN-13: 978-0072259551

4starsGood coverage of darknets, honeynets, and triggered blackholes

First I must admit that I know and have worked with several of the authors of this book. I was given an autographed copy of the book late last year, however seeing as the book was published in 2005 I didn’t think there would be much along the lines of useable information seeing as many of the security threats and vulnerabilities have evolved quite a bit since then. However, as I started reading the book I quickly realized much of the information was still relevant today as it was several years ago. The chapters on ISP Security Practices and Securing the Domain Name System had very good coverage of many of the techniques used throughout Service Provider networks to secure their network and DNS infrastructure.

I particularly enjoyed reading the sections on using egress packet filters to restrict data leaks from within an organization – a particular problem today with the prevalance of Internet Worms and other Malware which often attempt to communicate back to their centralized Command & Control (C&C) hosts. The chapter on ‘Sinkholes and Backscatter’ has very good coverage on a wide variety of topics such as using Darknets and Honeynets to monitor malicious traffic and other nasties emanating throughout your network, as well as using techniques such as Triggered Blackhole Routing to propagate filters quickly and dynamically to drop DDoS and other malevolent traffic.

I would have to disagree with Dr. Anton Chuvakin that the chapters on Digital Forensics were disappointing. Personally, I learned quite a bit from these chapters and came away from reading them with a whole arsenal of new tools to use with which I can perform my own digital forensics on compromised systems. The coverage of Foremost, memdump, and some of the advanced digital forensic tools was top notch.

All in all, I would say this is still a good book for anyone involved in Network Security. Much of the information covered is still relevant in today’s networks. If the authors attempt to release a second edition I would suggest coverage of adapting Triggered Blackhole techniques to be used in more modern DDoS Mitigation scenarios. Additionally, discussion of new techniques used for Malware C&C and coverage of Fast-flux and Double-flux techniques used by the attackers to create more robust and reliable networks would be welcomed.