How do these hackers find my Windows network? What info can they get? How do they actually "connect" and compromise my system? Can I do anything about it? Will it be hard, expensive or will I have to hire somebody or maybe will just a firewall do? What is this netbios thing anyhow? If you have questions like this then this book is for you. Hacking Windows 2000 Exposed is not a book about building a bastion host, configuring a firewall, or encryption theory. It does however show in a very understandable way how "hackers" use common system utilities(netstat,net,nslookup,etc)and free tools(superscan,etc) to find weaknesses in a network or computer and exploit them for fun or profit. I think Microsoft has gotten a bad rap about producing insecure operating systems. Fact is that Windows 2000 can be VERY secure, but by default it is configured for ease of use and backwards compatability (that is changing in .NET Server). Equipped with the right knowledge such as this book, and being serious about taking the time and effort to do something, the vast majority of hack attacks will be stopped cold. 99.9% of hackers are unsophisticated and exploit common weaknesses and negligence. As the book explains weak passwords, no account lockout policy, lack of physical security, and using file and print sharing carelessly are still the biggest problems. However of course there are MANY other issues that need to be dealt with.
Hacking Windows 2000 Exposed is very well organized. It takes you through the steps of how someone actually compomises a system and what you can do about it. It puts you in the mindset of a hacker and their methodology - finding a network, extracting information about it, attempting the connect/attack, gaining access, trying to get system or administrator access, reaking havok, and covering their tracks - maybe even leaving a backdoor for remote control! This approach to writing the book will leave you well prepared to defend yourself, audit activity, and show you how to test your own network for vulnerability. You will learn about netbios, network utilities, authentication
protocols, ports, services, anonymous access, permissions, sniffers - how they can be used against you, what to do about it and a whole lot more. The first part of the book focuses on the Windows 2000 operating system. Later chapters focus on applications such as Internet Information Server, SQL, and Internet Explorer(including some great tips everyone can use) and tells you how to manage them for maximum security. The end of the book covers specific security features of Windows 2000 such as Ipsec, Efs, group policy, seurity templates, and how to use them. Appendix A is a concise summary on how to lock down your Windows 2000 computer - a recap of concepts covered throughout the book. Each chapter also has a very helpful summary at the end that reinforces what was covered(specifically the actions to take) in case you are overwhelmed by technical detail in the reading. I like to periodically go back and leaf through the chapter summaries as kind of a refresher course of the meat of what is covered in the book. There is a list of references of other books and internet sites for further reading if more info is desired of material covered in each chapter. I highly recommend Hacking Windows 2000 Exposed to anyone intested in protecting their network and computers from unauthorized access - even those who have just a few computers at home and a cable/dsl connection should take heed. The writing style assumes you have some basic understanding of networking but is definitely not just for techies and keeps your interest. For many this could be their only book about network security and others their first book or a must have addition.