Customer Review

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lacking in References and a little overpriced, 13 Mar 2012
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This review is from: Backtrack 5 Wireless Penetration Testing Beginner's Guide (Paperback)
After reading the first 3 Chapters I thought "wow this is great" - and I still do think that, but after a while I became a bit fed up of reading that a certain subject was beyond the scope of the book or it asking you to look further into a certain backtrack tool. I appreciate that you have to learn to think for yourself but the whole reason why I buy a book is so that it pulls everything together and things that are understandably beyond the scope of a book should be well referenced so that you can then spend some time searching these references online - for nearly 30 I would expect this from a book.

However, apart from a poor reference section this book is great! I set up the wireless lab that the book recommends although I would suggest you buy the alfa AWUS306NH which supports the "new" 802.11n network instead of just the old b and g networks which the suggested card in the book only supports. Backtrack 5 R2 now has the support for the new alfa card and there is no problem with injection. I would highly recommend that you set up this wireless lab and buy the wifi router as it allows you to see first hand how an Acess Point (AP) is affected. It also enables you to check that you are doing things correctly, for example, if you set up a WPA AP with a very short easy dictionary password but you are unable to crack the password then you know you must be doing something wrong. It is also good to log into your wifi router and see the connections and logs that are left behind. (I bought the D-Link Wireless N Router.)

This is a simple step by step guide with accompanying screen shots - I would advise you to follow the commands on the screen shots as there are some typos in the book, for example, when it asks you to type in the name "Wireless Lab" it sometimes misses the quotes ("") off resulting in the command not working, but on the screen shot it appears correctly as "Wireless Lab" (you will understand this when you come to do it!).

The basic tools used are Aircrack and Wireshark and there are some very good basic commands and filters for these programs in the book and it pulls these two programs together to work hand-in-hand. There is a lot of time spent on WEP and creating your own open WEP access point for your wireless lab - I would just be careful if you do this as I had some neighbours sniffing about my open WEP! Although WEP is becoming obsolete you will be amazed how many people still use it and how relevant it is. The book then proceeds onto WPA and looks at how to crack passwords (again some decent references here would have been great). The learning curve of the book progressively increases with more in-depth penetration testing.

There is a good section about changing the region of your wifi card so that you can select a different range of channels or greater power, for example, the alfa card I have defaulted to 20dBm but when I changed the region of the card I could then increase the txpower of the card to 30dBM - of course there are lgal limits for your own country but you do need to know how to do this if you travel abroad.

All-in-all this is a great book. For the price I would expect more and better references, however, I am very glad that I bought this book and would highly recommend it as the first step in learning penetration testing and as a means of securing your own wireless system!

I hope the author does another book - maybe for the intermediate/advanced user with more references at the end of each chapter - I for one would certainly buy it.
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