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Counter Hack Reloaded: A Step-by-Step Guide to Computer Attacks and Effective Defenses, 2nd Edition

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Counter Hack Reloaded: A Step-by-Step Guide to Computer Attacks and Effective Defenses, 2nd Edition


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Major revision to the best-selling, step-by-step guide to defending against hacker intrusions--more than 45% new material.

° Contains more than 45% new material including coverage devoted to the steps of scanning, gaining and maintaining access, and preventing detection

° All new scenarios in the anatomy of an attack chapter and tools to battle them

° Author is a huge name in security. The first edition is touted as "outstanding" and the "best of its kind"


  • Copyright 2006
  • Dimensions: 7" x 9-1/4"
  • Pages: 784
  • Edition: 2nd
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-148104-5
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-148104-6

“I finally get it! I used to hear words like rootkit, buffer overflow, and idle scanning, and they just didn’t make any sense. I asked other people and they didn’t seem to know how these things work, or at least they couldn’t explain them in a way that I could understand. Counter Hack Reloaded is the clearest explanation of these tools I have ever seen. Thank you!”
—Stephen Northcutt, CEO, SANS Institute
“Ed Skoudis does it again! With this new edition, Ed takes a phenomenal work to the next level! This book is a ‘must-have’ and a ‘must-read’ for anyone remotely associated with computers and computer security.”
—Harlan Carvey, CISSP, author of Windows Forensics and Incident Recovery
“Ed Skoudis is a rare individual. He knows the innards of all the various systems, knows all the latest exploits and defenses, and yet is able to explain everything at just the right level. The first edition of Counter Hack was a fascinating read. It’s technically intriguing and very clear. . . . A book on vulnerabilities, though, will get out of date, and so we definitely needed this updated and significantly rewritten second edition. This book is a wonderful overview of the field.”
—From the Foreword by Radia Perlman, series editor, The Radia Perlman Series in Computer Networking and Security; author of Interconnections; and coauthor of Network Security: Private Communications in a Public World
“What a great partnership! Ed Skoudis and Tom Liston share an uncanny talent for explaining even the most challenging security concepts in a clear and enjoyable manner. Counter Hack Reloaded is an indispensable resource for those who want to improve their defenses and understand the mechanics of computer attacks.”
—Lenny Zeltser, coauthor of Malware: Fighting Malicious Code
“Ed Skoudis does it again! With this new edition, Ed takes a phenomenal work to the next level! This book is a ‘must-have’ and a ‘must-read’ for anyone remotely associated with computers and computer security.”
—Harlan Carvey, CISSP, author of Windows Forensics and Incident Recovery
“In addition to having breadth of knowledge about and probing insights into network security, Ed Skoudis’s real strength is in his ability to show complex topics in an understandable form. By the time he’s done, what started off as a hopeless conglomeration of acronyms starts to sound comfortable and familiar. This book is your best source for understanding attack strategies, attack tools, and the defenses against both.”
—William Stearns, network security expert, www.stearns.org
“This book is a must-have for anyone in the Internet security game. It covers everything from the basic principles to the fine details of online attack methods and counter-strategies and is very engagingly written.”
—Warwick Ford, coauthor of Secure Electronic Commerce

For years, Counter Hack has been the primary resource for every network/system administrator and security professional who needs a deep, hands-on understanding of hacker attacks and countermeasures. Now, leading network security expert Ed Skoudis, with Tom Liston, has thoroughly updated this best-selling guide, showing how to defeat today’s newest, most sophisticated, and most destructive attacks.

For this second edition, more than half the content is new and updated, including coverage of the latest hacker techniques for scanning networks, gaining and maintaining access, and preventing detection. The authors walk you through each attack and demystify every tool and tactic. You’ll learn exactly how to establish effective defenses, recognize attacks in progress, and respond quickly and effectively in both UNIX/Linux and Windows environments.

Important features of this new edition include

  • All-new “anatomy-of-an-attack” scenarios and tools
  • An all-new section on wireless hacking: war driving, wireless sniffing attacks, and more
  • Fully updated coverage of reconnaissance tools, including Nmap port scanning and “Google hacking”
  • New coverage of tools for gaining access, including uncovering Windows and Linux vulnerabilities with Metasploit
  • New information on dangerous, hard-to-detect, kernel-mode rootkits


Related Article

Scanning Tools: How Many Do We Really Need?

Author's Site

Please visit the author's website at www.counterhack.com.

Sample Content

Online Sample Chapter

Gaining Access to Target Systems Using Application and Operating System Attacks

Downloadable Sample Chapter

Download the Sample Chapter related to this title.

Table of Contents

(NOTE: Each chapter concludes with Summary).


Preface Reloaded.

About the Authors.

 1. Introduction.

    The Computer World and the Golden Age of Hacking.

    Why This Book?

    The Threat: Never Underestimate Your Adversary.

    A Note on Terminology and Iconography.

    Caveat: These Tools Could Hurt You.

    Organization of Rest of the Book.

 2. Networking Overview: Pretty Much Everything You Need to Know About Networking to Follow the Rest of This Book.

    The OSI Reference Model and Protocol Layering.

    How Does TCP/IP Fit In?

    Understanding TCP/IP.

    Transmission Control Protocol (TCP).

    User Datagram Protocol (UDP).

    Internet Protocol (IP) and Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP).


    Other Network-Level Issues.

    Don’t Forget About the Data Link and Physical Layers!

    Security Solutions for the Internet.


 3. Linux and UNIX Overview: Pretty Much Everything You Need to Know About Linux and UNIX to Follow the Rest of This Book.



    Accounts and Groups.

    Linux and UNIX Permissions.

    Linux and UNIX Trust Relationships.

    Common Linux and UNIX Network Services.


 4. Windows NT/000/XP/00 Overview: Pretty Much Everything You Need to Know About Windows to Follow the Rest of This Book.


    A Brief History of Time.

    The Underlying Windows Operating System Architecture.

    How Windows Password Representations Are Derived.

    Kernel Mode.

    From Service Packs and Hotfixes to Windows Update and Beyond.

    Accounts and Groups.

    Privilege Control.




    Object Access Control and Permissions.

    Network Security.

    Windows 2000 and Beyond: Welcome to the New Millennium.


 5. Phase 1: Reconnaissance.

    Low-Technology Reconnaissance: Social Engineering, Caller ID Spoofing, Physical Break-In, and Dumpster Diving.

    Search the Fine Web (STFW).

    Who is Databases: Treasure Chests of Information.

    The Domain Name System.

    General-Purpose Reconnaissance Tools.


 6. Phase 2: Scanning.

    War Driving: Finding Wireless Access Points.

    War Dialing: Looking for Modems in All the Right Places.

    Network Mapping.

    Determining Open Ports Using Port Scanners.

    Vulnerability-Scanning Tools.

    Intrusion Detection System and Intrusion Prevention System Evasion.


 7. Phase 3: Gaining Access Using Application and Operating System Attacks.

    Script Kiddie Exploit Trolling.

    Pragmatism for More Sophisticated Attackers.

    Buffer Overflow Exploits.

    Password Attacks.

    Web Application Attacks.

    Exploiting Browser Flaws.


 8. Phase 4: Gaining Access Using Network Attacks.


    IP Address Spoofing.

    Session Hijacking.

    Netcat: A General-Purpose Network Tool.


 9. Phase 3: Denial-of-Service Attacks.

    Locally Stopping Services.

    Locally Exhausting Resources.

    Remotely Stopping Services.

    Remotely Exhausting Resources.


10. Phase 4: Maintaining Access: Trojans, Backdoors, and Rootkits ... Oh My!

    Trojan Horses.


    The Devious Duo: Backdoors Melded into Trojan Horses.

    Nasty: Application-Level Trojan Horse Backdoor Tools.

    Also Nasty: The Rise of the Bots.

    Additional Nastiness: Spyware Everywhere!

    Defenses Against Application-Level Trojan Horse Backdoors, Bots, and Spyware.

    Even Nastier: User-Mode Rootkits.

    Defending Against User-Mode Rootkits.

    Nastiest: Kernel-Mode Rootkits.

    Defending Against Kernel-Mode Rootkits.


11. Phase 5: Covering Tracks and Hiding.

    Hiding Evidence by Altering Event Logs.

    Defenses Against Log and Accounting File Attacks.

    Creating Difficult-to-Find Files and Directories.

    Hiding Evidence on the Network: Covert Channels.

    Defenses Against Covert Channels.


12. Putting It All Together: Anatomy of an Attack.

    Scenario 1: Crouching Wi-Fi, Hidden Dragon.

    Scenario 2: Death of a Telecommuter.

    Scenario 3: The Manchurian Contractor.


13. The Future, References, and Conclusions.

    Where Are We Heading?

    Keeping Up to Speed.

    Final Thoughts ... Live Long and Prosper.



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