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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Incident Response and Computer Forensics, Second Edition
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
Authors: Chris Prosise, Kevin Mandia, Matt Pepe
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Very useful, comprehensive and fun to read


This is my review for the Second Edition.
Incident Response is back with a vengeance! I should disclose that I was very impressed with the first edition, for many reasons. Most of the points I liked about it are still valid and new ones abound.
Same as the before, the book is a great combination of a high level policy and methodology material with hands-on, "hex dumps and disk images" stuff. The focus is on tools and technology as well as the process of response and forensics.
The authors cover incident response process in great detail: from policy to secure and auditable host configuration, system logging, network monitoring, and acquiring the evidence on multiple platforms. In fact, I liked the balanced platform coverage of both UNIX/Linux and Windows. The book also contains a lot of neat background material on TCP/IP and file systems, making the book useful for less security-savvy.
The useful distinction between the first response and investigation is outlined: the reader will know what to do when confronted with a freshly hacked box and will also learn how to approach a hard disk extracted from a dishonest employee workstation. So, both cursory and in-depth response are covered.
I also enjoyed network-based evidence chapters on monitoring and traffic analysis (using tcpdump, ethereal, tcpflow, tcptrace). Overall, Data Analysis chapter was the most fun for me. Also enlightening were evidence collection and preservation methods. To navigate the maze of what is allowed and what is not - get the book.
Another awesome chapter was the one on reversing and hostile binary analysis. While not comprehensive, it seem to summarize the "busy man's reversing tips", applicable in real daily security practice.
The main advantage of the book is, in my opinion, its comprehensive nature. It is both a practical HOWTO guide, a reference and nice awareness material on "what is out there". The book emanates the fact that it is written by people who actually did all the things described in it. It might sound strange, but I also appreciated the lack of a "legal material" chapter. Legal advice should be heard from a lawyer and not from a security book (and its is usually extremely boring anyway...)
Anton Chuvakin, Ph.D., GCIA, GCIH is a Senior Security Analyst with a major information security company. His areas of infosec expertise include intrusion detection, UNIX security, forensics, honeypots, etc. In his spare time, he maintains his security portal info-secure.org



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Mastering Regular Expressions, Second Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Jeffrey E. F. Friedl
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Excellent read for the beginning programmer


There's just a world of power at any user's fingertips, and it's regular expressions. For any task that involves anything with alphanumeric characters, there are few, if any, ways to manage large chunks of them more effectively. Regular expressions harnessed to Perl are the tools that you need to do essentially anything on your computer. This book is like a scuba diving lesson for any reasonably competent computer user: it will take you to fascinating places you haven't been, it will make you think and be a little uncomfortable at first, but it will incredibly exhilarating when you're actually doing it.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Programming Embedded Systems in C and C ++
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Michael Barr
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Programming Embedded Systems in C and C++


... perhaps too optimistic on the application of C++. C++, or Object Orientation generally, are at present not suitable for small-scale architectures. And maybe the book should have stressed it, given the fact that many embedded software applications have very strict memory and real-time-responsiveness limitations.
But otherwise it is an excellent book!!



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Head First Design Patterns
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Elisabeth Freeman, Eric Freeman, Bert Bates, Kathy Sierra
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Could not put the book down....


We need more books like this for other areas such as .NET (C#), Web Services as well as software engineering areas.

I started reading this book last week, and I can't put the book down. Being an application framework developer, I think I am going to benefit significantly from a deeper understanding on when and how to apply design patterns.

I will be on the lookout for more books from the authors as well as from this series. Kudos to O'Reilly press.

Great work.