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Ninja Hacking Paperback – 27 Oct 2010

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Product details

  • Paperback: 450 pages
  • Publisher: Syngress (27 Oct. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597495883
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597495882
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 19 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 788,615 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"The hacking community is fraught with Eastern military comparisons. Like the ninja, we are continuing to come out of the shadows of our communal origins and grow into respected members of a larger society. As our industry matures, it demands more formal education, strict regulations and an adherence to a code of ethics. Therefore it becomes increasingly difficult to incorporate the culture of the unconventional warrior into our new world. Enter Wilhelm and Andress, who make it safe to show off your fu again. By the end of this book, the security professional is given the philosophical foundation along with a practical framework from which to leverage the way of the ninja. What could be cooler?"--Overall, Ninja Hacking has excellent relevant material and a significant amount of Ninja lore and history. While this book is not a technical reference, it is an excellent choice for someone who has an interest in Ninjas or someone who is looking for inspiration to think differently about penetration testing and security concepts. The mappings for traditional Ninja skills to the skills of today are mostly well-coupled and are always relevant to how the leaders in the field are addressing security today."----Donald C. Donzal, Editor-in-Chief, The Ethical Hacker Network "When they put "unconventional" in the title, the authors weren't exaggerating. Perhaps the most unusual book written on computer security, this volume centers around detailed descriptions of the ethics, mindset, and tactics used in the Japanese martial arts commonly called ninja. The history of ninja fighting arts and the samurai warriors who practiced them are described in the first chapter. Each subsequent chapter presents specific ninja tactics, including intelligence, use of weapons, surveillance, and sabotage, then applies them to effective computer security management. Both authors are computer security specialists. The book also benefits from a Ninjutsu consultant, Bryan R. Garner, and a technical editor, Joshua Abraham."--SciTechBookNews "With the good blend of historical techniques and its modern day application there is something in here for everyone."--Hakin9 "Be in no doubt, credibility is high for this book..All in all, while the writing style is light, the content is, for lack of a better term, meaty. This is definitely not recommended as an entry level book, but it is an excellent resource for penetration testers and those thinking of commissioning pen tests on their systems."--Paul Baccas,, Oct. 25, 2011,

About the Author

Thomas Wilhelm has been in involved in Information Security since 1990, when he served in the Army for eight years as a Signals Intelligence Analyst, Russian Linguist, and Cryptanalyst. A speaker at security conferences across the U.S., he is employed by a Fortune 500 company to conduct Risk Assessments, participate and lead in external and internal Penetration Testing efforts, and manage Information Systems Security projects. Wilhelm is also a doctoral student, holding a Masters degree in both Computer Science and Management, and has obtained the following certifications: ISSMP CISSP SCSECA SCNA SCSA IAM. Wilhelm dedicates some of his time as an Adjunct Professor at Colorado Technical University and contributes to multiple publications in his spare time, including Hakin9 magazine. His latest contributions include multiple chapters in the Syngress title Netcat Power Tools, his third book contribution to Syngress.

Jason Andress( ISSAP, CISSP, GISP, GSEC, CEH, Security+) is a seasoned security professional with a depth of experience in both the academic and business worlds. He is presently employed by a major software company, providing global information security oversight, performing penetration testing, risk assessment, and compliance functions to ensure that the company's assets are protected. Jason has taught undergraduate and graduate security courses since 2005 and holds a Doctorate in Computer Science. His research is in the area of data protection, and he has contributed to several publications, writing on topics including data security, network security, and digital forensics.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Bird is the Word on 6 Mar. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Good informative book, however there are better on the market. I recommend hacking exposed 7 as the first port of call.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Who doesn't love a ninja ? 6 Mar. 2011
By R. Linn - Published on
Format: Paperback
Without turning into a how-to manual, Wilhelm and Andress do a good job exposing the reader to the world of the Ninja and then mapping the cutting-edge skills of the leaders in penetration testing to those of the Zukin (the penetration tester who leverages unorthodox techniques). A good mix of history and hacking ensures even those who have no interest in the historical aspect will still get ideas for how to take penetration tests to the next level. This reference is broad enough to inspire almost everyone, but that breadth comes at the cost of not being deep enough to allow for expert mastery of any of the individual skills. By the end of this book the reader should know how to become the Ninja penetration tester and should be able to intelligently discuss the relationship between the feudal Ninja to the Ninjas of today.

The book is peppered with historical parables designed to shed light on modern security scenarios and stoke interest in the material. These scenarios may make explanation of aspects of penetration testing easier to understand for non-pentesters, and they should make experienced security experts think. The book covers a broad range of concepts, from contrasting the philosophies of the Ninja and Samurai classes using stories about specific feudal lords and clan leaders to examining the rules of engagement according to Sun Tzu's Art of War. Throughout, these researched components are not only used to examine concepts of penetration and defense but also to question the cookie-cutter methodologies found in many penetration tests. However, those who aren't interested in Ninjas can skip the first 2 chapters and go directly into the chapters about stealth and misdirection and will still be able to understand the references in most of the book.

By examining penetration testing using a point of view which is not bound by the traditional rules of war, Wilhelm and Andress are able to examine what sets apart traditional penetration testers from the leaders in the field. The authors do not focus on explicit programs or tools which grant the latter an advantage. Rather, they explain how the Zukin can achieve better results than a traditional penetration tester. Approaching a problem from the mindset of an intruder who wants to obtain access without being detected changes the field of play for penetration tests in significant ways that this book is not afraid to explore. Modern techniques for advanced information gathering, social engineering, misdirection, and even sabotage are defined as extensions of the Ninja philosophy for covert and open operational tactics. Discussion of disguise, impersonation, surveillance and social engineering begins with exploration of how these techniques were leveraged by the feudal warriors.

Overall, Ninja Hacking has excellent relevant material and a significant amount of Ninja lore and history. While this book is not a technical reference, it is an excellent choice for someone who has an interest in Ninjas or someone who is looking for inspiration to think differently about penetration testing and security concepts. The mappings for traditional Ninja skills to the skills of today are mostly well-coupled and are always relevant to how the leaders in the field are addressing security today.

Originally posted by me on [...]
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Different than the "usual" security book 14 Jan. 2011
By Andy F. - Published on
Format: Paperback
I had great time reading this book.
I mainly liked it because

- it is different than the 'usual' security books
- it never gets boring
- the historical parts were very interesting and educational
- it is extremely well structured
- it gives you a good sense of what is possible in hacking today
- it transports the methods and concepts of the ninjas into today's security (and hacking) world.

All in all I think it is a very good book to read and worth the time spend.
The combination of both parts (the technical and the historical) encourages the out-of-the-box thinking.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Ninja Hacking - Unconventional Penetration Testing Tactics and Techniques 10 May 2011
By Mario Camilien - Published on
Format: Paperback
Book Title: Ninja Hacking - Unconventional Penetration Testing Tactics and Techniques
Reviewer: Mario Camilien, CISSP
Authors: Thomas Wilhelm and Jason Andress

Ninja hacking will continue to be a very good reference book. The process of using Social Engineering as a tool to exploit human weaknesses will continue to be enhanced. There are many ways Social Engineering attacks can be crafted. Attacks are often successful because attackers exploit our human frailties. Social Engineers are often playing on peoples' fear, vanity, and curiosity. The authors have pinpointed those areas in many good examples such the ones outlined below:

- loss of job
- loss of insurance
- mergers
- current events
- academic achievements

After reading the Ninja hacking book, one will come to the conclusion that human's ability to use techniques to accomplish a stated objective is limitless. One must never assume and rely on pre-conceived notions about individuals, locations, and organizations. The methods are not new. Social Engineering is the process of using technology as vehicle to revive and enhancing old tactics.

Mario Camilien, CISSP
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Unusual security book that appeals to history-minded readers 28 July 2011
By Richard Bejtlich - Published on
Format: Paperback
Ninja Hacking is not a typical digital security book. When I saw the title I expected the use of "Ninja" to be a reference to a style of digital attack. While this is true to a certain extent, Ninja Hacking is about actual Ninja concepts applied to the digital world. The book is an introduction to Ninja history and techniques, applied to the modern digital security context. That was not at all what I expected, but I found the result intriguing.

Ninja Hacking is well-written and coherent, with real effort made to thoroughly apply Ninja tenets to digital problems. Unusual for a book of this sort, Ninja Hacking is well-sourced (using endnotes) and surprisingly well integrated into other Syngress titles. Rather than rehash or summarize material published elsewhere, the Ninja Hacking authors are comfortable directing readers to previous works for more information on topics like managing a penetration test. This approach kept Ninja Hacking focused and relevant.

My primary critique of the book is that some of the comparison between Ninja and modern digital intruders seems forced. For example, p 20 says "black hats simply do not have the financial backing that white hats have." The authors state this to maintain their perceived similarity between Ninjas and black hats. However, that financial outlook is not true for many black hats. Multiple teams of black hats are exceptionally well-funded compared to the 1-person or no-person security operations at the hundreds of thousands of small-to-medium businesses exploited each year. Some well-resourced black hats work for organized crime groups, while others are state-sponsored. Thankfully, this one aspect of the authors' philosophy doesn't really impact the book's core message.

Overall, I like Ninja Hacking more for the discussions of ancient Japan than for the application to digital security. Still, perhaps others will be inspired to make comparisons between military and quasi-military forces of old and modern digital actors?
A Must Read for Today's Cyber-Warriors 15 Sept. 2014
By Alper Basaran - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
The book provides a very different yet clear approach to penetration testing techniques. Looking at today's information security landscape ad issues from the point of view of ninjas not only avoids boring technical pages but provides memory anchors which make everything much easier to remember.
Main chapters provide to the point and pertinent points on which attacks can be built, making them vital for the defense.
Once you've finished this book you'll have a clear-cut notions on important aspects of attack such as how to time your infiltrations or attacking on multiple fronts to confuse the enemy. This book provides one of the clearest and simplest insights to the attackers mind, to quote Sun-Tzu on the Art of War: "If you know your enemy and you know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles."
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