Defeating the Hacker: A Non-Technical Guide to Computer Security


"Excellent, practical, comprehensive; peppered with good data, colourful anecdotes and practical common sense action points enabling you to solve some big problems in an intelligent way. A great read and an even greater "Handbook."
—John Madelin, Director of Corporate Development, RSA

"This is a refreshingly different approach to writing about security."
—Martin Veitch, Executive Editor, IT Week

According to a survey carried out by Lloyds TSB, ...

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"Excellent, practical, comprehensive; peppered with good data, colourful anecdotes and practical common sense action points enabling you to solve some big problems in an intelligent way. A great read and an even greater "Handbook."
—John Madelin, Director of Corporate Development, RSA

"This is a refreshingly different approach to writing about security."
—Martin Veitch, Executive Editor, IT Week

According to a survey carried out by Lloyds TSB, 54% of all PCs and laptops have been infected with a computer virus

Computers and the Internet are a virtual battleground for IT security and hackers. For years, systems have been attacked and defended; the cost of this cyber war has spiralled and will continue to rise. As technology improves, so do the hacker’s weapons of mass destruction.

Defeating the Hacker is a book about hackers, crackers, phishing, pharming, spammers, scammers, virus-writers, Trojan horses, malware and spyware, and how to keep them at bay.  Whether you are working in the office or from home, shopping online or checking your e-mails, the hacker could be stalking your computer system.

So what makes this book different from other security books?  Quite simply, the author used to be a world-famous hacker. So you’re getting advice from someone who knows just how exhilarating it can be to break into other people’s computers and who has, in the past, got his kicks from exploiting information surrounding a member of the Royal Family.

This gripping book shows you how to protect yourself, your computer and your organisation with practical advice from someone who has now beaten the addiction, and for the first time, reveals all the dirty tricks to watch out for!

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Whether you're an entrepreneur, a manager in a small-to-midsize business, or a home user, chances are your PCs and networks aren't nearly as secure as you think. You need to fix that. Don't wait: Get Defeating the Hacker, and get started.

We expected this book to be technically strong. Author Robert Schifreen's been involved with computer security, well, forever. In 1985, he became the first person on earth to face a jury trial for alleged hacking -- and escaped scot free, because what he'd done wasn't against the law yet. He's long since reformed; he works with corporate clients nowadays, and sure enough, he knows his stuff.

But here's what we didn't expect.

#1. This book is written in plain English. Anyone who can run Windows can understand (and do) most of what's in here. Even the more technical content is surprisingly accessible.

#2. It's remarkably thorough. Plenty of "insider" security books promise more than they deliver. Not this one. Schifreen covers everything from passwords to patching to phishing to penetration testing to piracy to P2P. And the rest of the alphabet, too: wireless security, spyware, e-commerce fraud: You name it, it's here.

#3. This book's well and truly packed with tips and insights from the author's own experience. One minute, Schifreen's telling you how well biometrics really work; next minute he's pointing you to a free downloadable 1,000-page book on web site security.

#4. Best of all, this stuff's really doable. Some security books are terrifying and succeed only in immobilizing their readers. Not this one. In this one, every chapter ends with specific, realistic "action points": steps you can take right now. Very, very empowering. Bill Camarda, from the May 2006 Read Only

From the Publisher
"...It's hard to imagine that there's any category of computer user — domestic, small business, corporate — who won't find something of value in this book....Defeating the Hacker is a useful and well-written book, particularly for home and small business users...." (, April 2006)

"...Schifreen is now a kosher security expert and Defeating the Hacker is his non-technical guide through this murky world....It's hard to imagine any kind of computer user who won't find something useful here...." (The Glasgow Daily Record, April 2006)

"It's accessible and easy to read and the best thing is that every chapter has five practical points at the end for you to act on to improve your company's security." (Radio Five Live, April 2006) 

"...definitely worth reading..." (The Register, July 2006)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470025550
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 5/5/2006
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 398
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.65 (h) x 1.23 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Schifreen writes and speaks on IT security at seminars and conferences around the world, and has appeared on radio and TV as an expert spokesman around 100 times in the past 6 years.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction.

Chapter 2: A Hacker is Made.

Chapter 3: Preparation and Planning.

Chapter 4: International Laws and Standards.

Chapter 5: Passwords and Beyond.

Chapter 6: Your Information Security Policy

Chapter 7: Security Awareness Training.

Chapter 8: Patch Management.

Chapter 9: Windows Workstation Security.

Chapter 10: Basic Server Security.

Chapter 11: Understanding Firewalls.

Chapter 12: Protecting Your Web Site.

Chapter 13: Wireless Networking.

Chapter 14: Penetration Testing.

Chapter 15: Security Through Obscurity.

Chapter 16: Windows Vista.

Chapter 17: Email.

Chapter 18: The Curse of Spam.

Chapter 19: Viruses.

Chapter 20: Spyware, Adware and Rogue Diallers.

Chapter 21: Piracy.

Chapter 22: File Sharing and ‘P2P’.

Chapter 23: Backups and Archives.

Chapter 24: Preventing Internet Misuse.

Chapter 25: Document Security.

Chapter 26: Data Theft.

Chapter 27: Encryption.

Chapter 28: Employees’ Own Computers.

Chapter 29: How Hackers Use Search Engines.

Chapter 30: Denial of Service Attacks.

Chapter 31: Provisioning and Identity Management.

Chapter 32: Data Interception.

Chapter 33: Out of the Office.

Chapter 34: Social Engineering.

Chapter 35: E-Commerce Fraud.

Chapter 36: Intrusion Detection Systems.

Chapter 37: Outsourcing.

Chapter 38: Securing your Premises.

Chapter 39: Forensics.

Chapter 40: Planning for the Worst.

Chapter 41: Hardware Theft.

Chapter 42: Let’s Be Careful Out There.


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