Three Titles Tackle Need for Vigilance

By Peter Coffee  |  Posted 2003-01-20 Print this article Print

Books offer comprehensive approaches to meet diverse needs.

Unlike information technology domains in which anything between book covers is suspected of being obsolete, security is a discipline in which seasoned experience still has value. Three titles released this year offer different approaches to meet different needs.

"Security in Computing"

Charles and Shari Pfleeger; Prentice Hall PTR; $79

Now in its third edition, "Security in Computing" by Charles and Shari Pfleeger is a comprehensive textbook, including end-of-chapter exercises that make it suitable for training as well as for self-education and reference.

This update to the 1997 edition includes substantial new material on network security and restructures encryption material to separate theoretical discussion from everyday applications. Wherever we open this book, we find ourselves immediately drawn into its clear (but not dumbed-down) presentation.

"Hacking Linux Exposed"

Brian Hatch and James Lee; McGraw Hill/Osborne; $49.99

For those whose primary interest is the mechanics of attack and defense, the second edition of "Hacking Linux Exposed" by Brian Hatch and James Lee offers a structured treatment that covers external, local-user and server attacks. It also provides valuable guidance on post-attack follow-up, an oft-neglected topic. Even non-Linux sites will benefit from this treatment, which delves into the mechanisms of attack right down to the (open) source code.

"802.11 Security"

Bruce Potter and Bob Fleck; OReilly & Associates; $34.95

With wireless networks the fastest-growing IT vulnerability, Bruce Potter and Bob Fleck are timely in offering their text, "802.11 Security."

Beginning with just the basics of how 802.11 works, followed by an overview of attack types, the authors quickly dive into specifics of securing Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, FreeBSD, and OpenBSD stations and gateways. With many users adopting wireless without regard for corporate policy, it borders on negligence not to have this information at hand.

Peter Coffee is Director of Platform Research at, where he serves as a liaison with the developer community to define the opportunity and clarify developers' technical requirements on the company's evolving Apex Platform. Peter previously spent 18 years with eWEEK (formerly PC Week), the national news magazine of enterprise technology practice, where he reviewed software development tools and methods and wrote regular columns on emerging technologies and professional community issues.Before he began writing full-time in 1989, Peter spent eleven years in technical and management positions at Exxon and The Aerospace Corporation, including management of the latter company's first desktop computing planning team and applied research in applications of artificial intelligence techniques. He holds an engineering degree from MIT and an MBA from Pepperdine University, he has held teaching appointments in computer science, business analytics and information systems management at Pepperdine, UCLA, and Chapman College.

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