Security Engineering, 2nd Edition
A Guide to Building Dependable Distributed Systems
By Ross J. Anderson
Publisher: Wiley
Final Release Date: September 2010
Pages: 1080

"Security engineering is different from any other kind of programming. . . . if you're even thinking of doing any security engineering, you need to read this book."
— Bruce Schneier

"This is the best book on computer security. Buy it, but more importantly, read it and apply it in your work."
— Gary McGraw

This book created the discipline of security engineering

The world has changed radically since the first edition was published in 2001. Spammers, virus writers, phishermen, money launderers, and spies now trade busily with each other in a lively online criminal economy — and as they specialize, they get better. New applications, from search to social networks to electronic voting machines, provide new targets. And terrorism has changed the world. In this indispensable, fully updated guide, Ross Anderson reveals how to build systems that stay dependable whether faced with error or malice.

Here's straight talk about

  • Technical engineering basics — cryptography, protocols, access controls, and distributed systems
  • Types of attack — phishing, Web exploits, card fraud, hardware hacks, and electronic warfare

  • Specialized protection mechanisms — what biometrics, seals, smartcards, alarms, and DRM do, and how they fail

  • Security economics — why companies build insecure systems, why it's tough to manage security projects, and how to cope

  • Security psychology — the privacy dilemma, what makes security too hard to use, and why deception will keep increasing

  • Policy — why governments waste money on security, why societies are vulnerable to terrorism, and what to do about it

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Surprisingly, an absolute page-turner!

By Harry P.

from London

Verified Reviewer


  • Accurate
  • Easy to understand
  • Helpful examples
  • Well-written


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      Comments about oreilly Security Engineering, 2nd Edition:

      This was the assigned textbook for my security module at university. I had signed up for it out of a sense of duty, and expected it to be quite dry, but it turned out to be one of the most fascinating modules of the whole course, in no small part thanks to this book.

      It's quite light on pure crypto, but it's absolutely full of the joy of hacking, of the particular mindset it takes to think about how systems can be used in unintended ways. Lots of interesting discussions of unexpected topics like lock-picking, forging bank notes, inkjet printer cartridge economics, and spoofing South African Air Force jets with replay attacks.

      It's a huge tome, about three inches thick, and I promise you it's an absolute page-turner.

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