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Defeating the Hacker: A non-technical guide to computer security



Defeating the Hacker: A non-technical guide to computer security

Robert Schifreen

ISBN: 978-0-470-02555-0 April 2006 398 Pages


The current struggle between IT security and computer hackers is reaching crisis point. Corporate dependency on computers and the Internet as well as the rapid spread of broadband into more households has resulted in a feeding ground for hackers around the world. Estimated damage costs are now making their way into the billions. The need for some good advice is long overdue.

Robert Schifreen, a self-confessed ex-hacker, made history in 1985 when he became the first person in the world to face a jury trial in connection with computer hacking. His subsequent acquittal in the High Court led to a change in UK Law and the introduction of the Computer Misuse Act 1990. His 20 years experience in IT security now lends itself to global radio and TV broadcasts, as well as appearances at conferences and lectures around the world.

Keeping your company’s computers free from hackers, viruses, spammers, phishing attacks, social engineers and all the other things that can result in loss of data is a difficult job. Defeating the Hacker is a book about how to protect your computer systems becoming another victim of the hacker. It’s an instant primer into all the things that can go wrong, with advice on how to stop it happening or, if it’s too late, how to fix the damage.

  • Presents unique, UK based, insider information on hacking and security from someone who has operated on both sides of the divide
  • Develops a populist seam within a hot IT area: security
  • Shows readers how and why hacking is made possible, whilst suggesting ways to avoid being a victim of it
  • Written in a dynamic, conversational, yet knowledgeable, style
  • Filled with information and anecdotal evidence aimed at IT professionals and those with a more general interest

Defeating the Hacker allows the reader to learn how to protect their computer systems with advice from someone who knows how to break into them.

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.


"...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)