Linux Blog

A Bug Hunter’s Diary Review

Filed under: General Linux — TheLinuxBlog.com at 11:27 pm on Monday, May 21, 2012

A Bug Hunter’s Diary, by Tobias Klein, from No Starch Press is a book that caught my eye. Reverse engineering is a topic I have an interest in, if not much experience, but I am not quite ready for a comprehensive book on the topic. A Bug Hunter’s Diary seemed like a good match for my interests but, initially, I wasn’t sure what to expect from it.

To my pleasant surprise, I walked away with a lot of fantastic technical information; much more than I expected from a technical book that read like a story. A Bug Hunter’s Diary gives great insight into the bug hunting process. It outlines various techniques used to find bugs, and then moves on to exploitation and outlines some of the remediation techniques and processes. For each bug, a chapter is presented with necessary background information, plenty of technical information and code, a detailed explanation, and a timeline outlining the process.

Tobias Klein did a great job explaining what was being done and why, even for those (like me) who know very little about assembly language. Unfortunately, due to the laws of the country in which the author lives, A Bug Hunter’s Diary doesn’t show working exploits but he does provide links to demonstration videos online throughout.

I initially read this book on the Kindle before a hard copy arrived. It reads very well on the Kindle, with the exception of a few tables. A short and delightful read, I devoured A Bug Hunter’s Diary cover to cover in record time. Once I started reading, I would find it hard to put down. For me it was a great book that has re-ignited my interests, motivating me to learn more, and I look forward to reading it again.

Snort IDS Introduction

Filed under: General Linux,The Linux Blog News — TheLinuxBlog.com at 4:15 pm on Thursday, June 11, 2009

I haven’t posted here in a while so here is a presentation that I did at a local security meeting about the Snort IDS. Not much on its own but gives an introduction on Snort with a few slides about IDS’s a few on writing Snort Rules. On the demonstration slide is where I did a demonstration that didn’t exactly go as planned. I swear it worked at home using Nikto, but its all good since I had a friendly crowd. The additional resources slide shows some great resources for learning about the Snort IDS. So hit my document on scribd!

Securing PHP Web Applications Review

Filed under: General Linux — TheLinuxBlog.com at 11:43 am on Friday, February 27, 2009

Securing PHP Web Applications

As a somewhat seasoned PHP developer, I’m always looking for ways to improve code and keep up with the latest happenings. When I saw the book, “Securing PHP Web Applications” by Addison-Wesley, I thought I’d give it a look. PHP is known for its wide deployment and rapid development. Unfortunately, with such a large user base, it is not uncommon to see mistakes within development. Often developers are unaware that what they are doing is insecure. This book addresses important security concerns every developer should be aware of.

The first ten chapters are on programming practices of which, if you’re a system administrator, may not interest you. If you are a developer you should know, understand, be able to fix and, of course (the fun part), exploit for demonstration.

Chapters 11, 12 and 13 are essential reading to any system administrator who will be supporting a LAMP or WAMP stack.
The IIS chapter may not apply to those reading this blog since we all know that securing IIS is not necessary when you’re running Linux. The chapters on securing PHP, MySQL, and Apache outline the basic concepts and give some important pointers that may not be obvious to everyone.

Chapter 14 (Introduction to Automated Testing) and Chapter 15 (Introduction to Exploit Testing) have really opened my eyes to methods I have not used before. We’ve all heard of Selenium and PHPUnit but what about CAL9000 and PowerFuzzer? I’ll be off to try them soon. I can always appreciate applications designed to help secure applications. Nessus, Nikto and MetaSploit lack any mention in this book but now that you’ve read this review, you’ll know to look into those as well.

Chapter 16 is on designing secure applications and 17 is on patching, which would have been useful for me to explain to someone as to why they shouldn’t be working on their production site (to make things worse with no version control.)

There are so many products out there that are vulnerable to some of the attacks. We see them everyday in the security lists. I think that any company and developer of PHP based Web Applications should have a keen grasp on the concepts outlined within the pages of this book.

I do not think, however, that “Securing PHP Web Applications” is a book that is necessarily intended for every developer out there. I think its a great book for anyone with an active interest in security that has been developing for a while but would like some pointers on how to secure their web apps or a reference for developers in need.

For more information and a sample chapter, please visit the publisher page: http://www.informit.com/title/0321534344 or if you subscribe to Safari Books Online you can access the complete book here: http://techbus.safaribooksonline.com/9780321534347