How This Book Is Organized

This book is meant to be practical; you won't just learn how to run an exploit or two that will be patched by the time you finish reading about it. The knowledge and the tools to do all the hacking is in the book; however, instead of specific exploits, we cover types of threats. This way even if an exploit is patched, the knowledge as to how the exploit could work, how a security control can be circumvented, and how an interaction such as trust can be abused will still help you analyze potential problems. By not securing against specific threats or exploits, you are much more capable of testing for and applying security that will cover potential, though yet unknown, threats.

Structurally, this book follows the five channels identified in the Open Source Security Testing Methodology Manual (OSSTMM) for security interactions: physical, telecommunications, data networking, human, and wireless. The first three chapters explain how security and controls work according to the latest ISECOM research and set the stage for understanding how to analyze security. Then the book follows the logical separation of the most common uses of Linux to create a compendium of security knowledge—no matter what you want to do with your Linux system.

It is possible to read the book straight through and absorb all the information like a sponge if you can. Or you can hop from chapter to chapter depending on what areas you are concerned about securing on your specific Linux system. Maybe you want to try testing wireless access points, VoIP, or telecommunications? Just jump to the appropriate chapter. Or even if you simply want to make sure your desktop applications don't get the best of your Linux system through phishing, SPAM, and rootkits, we cover user attacks as part of the human security channel. Then, again, you could always just browse through the book at your leisure.

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The Ultimate Computer Repair Guide

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