Virtualization for Security: Including Sandboxing, Disaster Recovery, High Availability, Forensic Analysis, and Honeypotting

Virtualization for Security: Including Sandboxing, Disaster Recovery, High Availability, Forensic Analysis, and HoneypottingOne of the biggest buzzwords in the IT industry for the past few years, virtualization has matured into a practical requirement for many best-practice business scenarios, becoming an invaluable tool for security professionals at companies of every size. In addition to saving time and other resources, virtualization affords unprecedented means for intrusion and malware detection, prevention, recovery, and analysis. Taking a practical approach in a growing market underserved by books, this hands-on title is the first to combine in one place the most important and sought-after uses of virtualization for enhanced security, including sandboxing, disaster recovery and high availability, forensic analysis, and honeypotting.

Already gaining buzz and traction in actual usage at an impressive rate, Gartner research indicates that virtualization will be the most significant trend in IT infrastructure and operations over the next four years. A recent report by IT research firm IDC predicts the virtualization services market will grow from $5.5 billion in 2006 to $11.7 billion in 2011. With this growth in adoption, becoming increasingly common even for small and midsize businesses, security is becoming a much more serious concern, both in terms of how to secure virtualization and how virtualization can serve critical security objectives.

Titles exist and are on the way to fill the need for securing virtualization, but security professionals do not yet have a book outlining the many security applications of virtualization that will become increasingly important in their job requirements. This book is the first to fill that need, covering tactics such as isolating a virtual environment on the desktop for application testing, creating virtualized storage solutions for immediate disaster recovery and high availability across a network, migrating physical systems to virtual systems for analysis, and creating complete virtual systems to entice hackers and expose potential threats to actual production systems.

About the Technologies

A sandbox is an isolated environment created to run and test applications that might be a security risk. Recovering a compromised system is as easy as restarting the virtual machine to revert to the point before failure. Employing virtualization on actual production systems, rather than just test environments, yields similar benefits for disaster recovery and high availability. While traditional disaster recovery methods require time-consuming reinstallation of the operating system and applications before restoring data, backing up to a virtual machine makes the recovery process much easier, faster, and efficient. The virtual machine can be restored to same physical machine or an entirely different machine if the original machine has experienced irreparable hardware failure. Decreased downtime translates into higher availability of the system and increased productivity in the enterprise.

Virtualization has been used for years in the field of forensic analysis, but new tools, techniques, and automation capabilities are making it an increasingly important tool. By means of virtualization, an investigator can create an exact working copy of a physical computer on another machine, including hidden or encrypted partitions, without altering any data, allowing complete access for analysis. The investigator can also take a live ?snapshot? to review or freeze the target computer at any point in time, before an attacker has a chance to cover his tracks or inflict further damage.

A honeypot is a system that looks and acts like a production environment but is actually a monitored trap, deployed in a network with enough interesting data to attract hackers, but created to log their activity and keep them from causing damage to the actual production environment. A honeypot exposes new threats, tools, and techniques used by hackers before they can attack the real systems, which security managers patch based on the information gathered. Before virtualization became mainstream, setting up a machine or a whole network (a honeynet) for research purposes only was prohibitive in both cost and time management. Virtualization makes this technique more viable as a realistic approach for companies large and small.

* The first book to collect a comprehensive set of all virtualization security tools and strategies in a single volume
* Covers all major virtualization platforms, including market leader VMware, Xen, and Microsoft’s Hyper-V virtualization platform, a new part of Windows Server 2008 releasing in June 2008
* Breadth of coverage appeals to a wide range of security professionals, including administrators, researchers, consultants, and forensic

Price: $59.95

Click here to buy from Amazon

Computer Attack and Cyberterrorism

Computer Attack and CyberterrorismMany international terrorist groups now actively use computers and the Internet to communicate, and several may develop or acquire the necessary technical skills to direct a co-ordinated attack against computers in the United States. A cyberattack intended to harm the U.S. economy would likely target computers that operate the civilian critical infrastructure and government agencies. However, there is disagreement among some observers about whether a co-ordinated cyberattack against the U.S. critical infrastructure could be extremely harmful, or even whether computers operating the civilian critical infrastructure actually offer an effective target for furthering terrorists’ goals. While there is no published evidence that terrorist organizations are currently planning a co-ordinated attack against computers, computer system vulnerabilities persist world-wide, and initiators of the random cyberattacks that plague computers on the Internet remain largely unknown. Reports from security organisations show that random attacks are now increasingly implemented through use of automated tools, called ‘bots’, that direct large numbers of compromised computers to launch attacks through the Internet as swarms. The growing trend toward the use of more automated attack tools has also overwhelmed some of the current methodologies used for tracking Internet cyberattacks. This book provides background information for three types of attacks against computers (cyberattack, physical attack, and electromagnetic attack), and discusses related vulnerabilities for each type of attack.The book also describes the possible effects of a co-ordinated cyberattack, or computer network attack (CNA), against U.S. infrastructure computers, along with possible technical capabilities of international terrorists. Issues for Congress may include how could trends in cyberattacks be measured more effectively; what is appropriate guidance for DOD use of cyberweapons; should cybersecurity be combined with, or remain separate from, the physical security organization within DHS; how can commercial vendors be encouraged to improve the security of their products; and what are options to encourage U.S. citizens to follow better cybersecurity practices. Appendices to this book describe computer viruses, spyware, and ‘bot networks’, and how malicious programs are used to enable cybercrime and cyberespionage. Also, similarities are drawn between planning tactics currently used by computer hackers and those used by terrorists groups for conventional attacks.

Price: $37.00

Click here to buy from Amazon

Counting from Zero

Counting from ZeroCan a security expert save the Internet from a catastrophic zero day cyber attack by a network of zombie computers, known as a botnet? At what cost?

“Credible and believable, this story is told by a subject matter expert. I could not wait to find out what happened next.”
Vint Cerf, Internet pioneer
“The threat to the Internet from worms, viruses, botnets, and zombie computers is real, and growing. Counting from Zero is a great way to come up to speed on the alarming state of affairs, and Johnston draws you in with his story and believable cast of characters.”
Phil Zimmermann, creator of Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) the most widely used email encryption program
Today, every computer connected to the Internet is under constant attack from viruses, worms, port scans, and spam. Security professionals continually fight to contain newly unleashed cyber attacks, known as ‘zero day’ attacks, only to have new attacks launched. Millions of computers have already succumbed, and, without their owner’s knowledge, have become slave computers – remotely controlled ‘zombies’. Under the control of organized crime and backed by foreign governments, these computers are morphing into collections known in the industry as botnets, short for robot networks.
Internet security expert Mick O’Malley is the only one who recognizes the growing threat of the ultimate zero day attack on the Internet from a massive botnet, and his unique hacker skills and network of colleagues enable him to fight back. More cyber prep than cyber punk, Mick uses real-life tools and techniques to encrypt all his communications, and uses these skills to break the encryption used by the botnet. Mick uses encryption on a personal level, too, having multiple passports and multiple names and identities. While crisscrossing the globe in the air, on land, and at sea investigating the threat, Mick becomes the target of attacks on his reputation, his identity, and ultimately his life.
Along the way, Mick meets Kateryna Petrescu, a beautiful Romanian firewall expert. Mick’s attraction to Kateryna develops as they work closely together and share the excitement and danger. Why is the government following Mick and trying to intercept his communications? Can he stop the zero day attack before it is unleashed? What will be the cost to Mick for his single mindedness?
Unfolding across three continents, the new cybercrime mystery “Counting from Zero” gives a realistic insider’s view of the thrust and parry world of computer security and cryptography, and the very real threat of botnets.

Price: $11.99

Click here to buy from Amazon

Botnet

BotnetBotnet is a jargon term for a collection of software robots, or bots, that run autonomously and automatically. The term is often associated with malicious software, but it can also refer to the network of computers using distributed computing software. While botnets are often named after their malicious software name, there are typically multiple botnets in operation using the same malicious software families, but operated by different criminal entities. While the term “botnet” can be used to refer to any group of bots, such as IRC bots, this word is generally used to refer to a collection of compromised computers running software, usually installed via drive-by downloads exploiting Web browser vulnerabilities, worms, Trojan horses, or backdoors, under a common command-and-control infrastructure.

Price: $52.00

Click here to buy from Amazon

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

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

Price: $69.99

Click here to buy from Amazon