[Article]-Book Review: BackTrack 4: Assuring Security by Penetration Testing

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    • #6536
      Don Donzal

      Another sneak peak into a book that may end up on your shelf. Let us know what you think of the review or the book itself if you’ve also read it.

      Permanent link: [Article]-Book Review: BackTrack 4: Assuring Security by Penetration Testing

      by Jason Haddix

      Don’t have the cash for a $2000 – 3000 penetration testing course? Don’t know which tools are outdated or relevant? Lost in the sea of Backtrack options? You learn better on your own anyway?

      No problem!

      BackTrack 4: Assuring Security by Penetration Testing (BASPT), authored by Shakeel Ali and Tedi Heriyanto, is a 12-chapter compendium on everyone’s favorite hacking distribution, Backtrack 4. Filling the need for a refresher to older titles on abandoned projects like Knoppix or Auditor (see somewhat outdated: Penetration Tester’s  Open Source Toolkit, Vol. 2), BASPT gives syntax and usage tips on a plethora of different tools included in the suite and is broken down into the generic pentesting methodology with which most people today are familiar. Not only that, but also the book itself reads like some of those intro to penetration testing classes we have all been to costing many more times the cost of a single book.

      Intrigued? Let’s take a closer look.

      Enjoy this review and be sure to check out Jason Haddix’s column by cicking on his name above,

      • This topic was modified 3 years, 6 months ago by Don Donzal.
    • #40552

      Speaking of Backtrack books, Vivek Ramachandran, who discovered the Caffe Latte Attack, has a book “BackTrack 5 Wireless Penetration Testing Beginner’s Guide” coming out in August. You can get more info here-

    • #40553

      I thought I remember hearing about this book elsewhere on the forums.  Great review, thanks Jason.

      And thanks for the heads up on Vivek’s book, WCNA.  I love his WLAN security megaprimers series, definitely adding that one to my wishlist as well.

    • #40554

      lorddicranius You did, It was talked about in the books for beginner’s topic under Book Reviews.

      Personally I’ve been looking forward to a full review of this book. Can’t wait until I get to that tab now.

      —- Edit—-

      Read the review. Still questioning whether I’d buy this book or not.  I might buy one if I can get it good price used off amazon. Having a command reference book might be worth it.

    • #40555

      found the ebook version out there for 23 bucks might pick it up myself. http://www.pucktpub.com I believe the site is called.

    • #40556

      Yes, it is at the same place (packtpub) as Vivek’s book will be.


    • #40557

      Thanks, always better to get an ebook not wasting any trees :-D.

    • #40558
    • #40559

      Wesley is awesome, and i respect his opinion =)

      If you read carefully we actually have the same ideas about the book but draw different conclusions.

      I see it as the only up to date reference atm, and being so cheap, for anyone who wants to get into pentesting or has no idea about backtrack, it is a great resource.

      Comparing it to WAHH by content is unfair b/c WAHH is all webapp. if the comparison is one of quality, sure WAHH wins hands down…

      Imo it’s either BASPT, an outdated book,  a $300 course from offsec ,or googling everything yourself.

      Anyways, it’s always good to have multiple viewpoints!

    • #40560

      Thanks for the kind words!

      To clarify, the comparison to Web Application Hacker’s Handbook is primarily one of quality as something that intends to teach the reader something. The prose around the technical material is much better-written as well, which is the worst failing of this Backtrack book.

      In my work, I interact with a lot of students that are beginning to take an interest in penetration testing, and I rarely if ever recommend books that are primarily references to commands. In the case of Backtrack, I’d rather show them how to pull up the individual tools’ documentation for that kind of information.

      What I do recommend to beginners are “subject area” books, which take a more in-depth look at a certain topic/technique/specialization. My default recommendation for this is Web Application Hacker’s Handbook, since it’s very easy for a beginner to get into breaking web apps. If they’re coming in with the appropriate background and are interested in it, I may steer them towards Hacking: The Art of Exploitation 2nd Edition or Reversing: Secrets of Reverse Engineering instead.

    • #40561

      I agree with wesleymcgrew I read this book and as someone knew to Pen testing I didn’t find it that great.

      It didn’t go into any real details and it seem to miss a lot stuff out like wireless there was no mention of any of the wireless tools.

      I personally felt that it didn’t teach me anything I could not find out from the man pages

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