Intrusion Detection with SNORT: Advanced IDS Techniques Using SNORT, Apache, MySQL, PHP, and ACID
||Author: Rafeeq Rehman|
List Price: $39.99
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Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR (08 May, 2003)
Sales Rank: 31,188
Average Customer Rating: 3.71 out of 5
Customer ReviewsRating: 4 out of 5
Good IDS|Snort book
This book is an effective introduction to Intruder Detection, demonstrating how popular open-source tools can be used. I found the code samples, table, diagrams and screenshots to be clear and useful. I learned what I'd hoped to learn and feel empowered to set up an IDS myself. Plenty of links and resources when I want to learn more.
I read a few of the other reviews here after I read the book... especially Richard B's. I noticed some of the same techinical mistakes, but don't feel that they are a big deal. As a sr. software engineer and techinical editor, I always read critically, just mentally note them and continue. They aren't the kind of mistakes that make the code useless, or would confuse/mislead any level of reader. Another editing pass would help most books, and I none of the grammar mistakes annoy me - I read to learn what I can and move on, not to nitpick or get annoyed.
As far as 1.9 vs. 2.0, I've looked at the snort site and agree that the release is signficant, but it doesn't break backwards compatibility, so it doesn't make this book any less revelant. 2.0 seems to mostly change the backend implementation - *the application is used identically* so I suspect the vast majority of this book is unaffected. The Syngress book covers 2.0, yet so does the website, which hypes this two-times-more-expensive book. That book too will no doubt soon be superceded, so read whatever you buy immediately ;-)
Rating: 5 out of 5
Great hands-on coverage of snort
I really like books that are to the point and filled with examples. This is such a book. It enables the reader to get up and going quickly. The reader is guided through installation and each component of SNORT. Once the basics are covered, the author moves to more advanced topics and integrating other tools like Apache, MySQL, and ACID. All told, it presents an excellent approach to building an IDS.
Rating: 3 out of 5
Weakest of the Snort books published thus far
"Intrusion Detection with Snort: Advanced IDS, etc." (IDWS) was the second of this year's intrusion detection books I've reviewed. The first was Tim Crothers' "Implementing Intrusion Detection Systems" (4 stars). I was disappointed by IDWS, since I have a high opinion of Prentice Hall and the new "Bruce Perens' Open Source Series." (I'm looking forward to the book on CIFS, for example.) IDWS read poorly and doesn't deliver as much useful content as the competing Syngress book "Snort 2.0."
The most difficult aspect of reading IDWS is the author's grammar, particularly his avoidance of using definitive articles like "the", and other important words. For instance, p. 3 says "Apache web server takes help from ACID, etc." p. 133 claims "However, if you are using HTTP decode preprocessor, this attempt can detected." Beyond grammar, the author demonstrates weak knowledge of the IDS field, stating on p. 1 "Intrusion detection methods starting appearing in the last few years." James Anderson led the way in 1980, followed by Denning and Neumann in 1983 and Todd Heberlein in 1990! The author also repeatedly compares IDS to anti-virus signatures, which is simplistic and incorrect.
Technical errors further hamper IDWS. p. 89 makes the mistake of saying TCP sequence numbers count packets; they really count bytes of application data. p. 96-97 confuses the use of standard Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) with their use in Snort, which is different. (SF+ means SYN and FIN and zero or more other flags, not SYN AND FIN alone.) The fuzzy diagrams don't appear professional, and acronyms like "PHP" are defined incorrectly as "Pretty Home Page" (rather than the self-referencing "PHP Hypertext Processor.")
Coverage of important topics is lacking or outdated. First, Snort 1.9 is the basis for the text. However, 2.0 is available and covered by the Syngress book. The output system Barnyard and unified logging receive a total of one page. No meaningful mention is made of the effects of collecting traffic via hub, SPAN port, or tap. The port list on pp. 87-88 shows "well known ports," but doesn't say if they are TCP or UDP. The author makes odd claims about Snort "not [being] able to analyze application layer protocols," which is misleading. Snort rules aren't designed specifically for HTTP, for example, but they can be used to inspect HTTP requests and responses.
My favorite part of IDWS was the coverage of using the MySQL database. Appendix B provides helpful supplemental material on this subject also. Bottom line: I would pass on IDWS but keep an eye on the other titles in the PHPTR "Open Source Series."
· Intrusion Signatures and Analysis
· Snort 2.0 Intrusion Detection
· Inside Network Perimeter Security: The Definitive Guide to Firewalls, Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), Routers, and Intrusion Detection Systems
· Intrusion Detection with Snort
· Network Intrusion Detection (3rd Edition)