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Computer Forensics InfoSec Pro Guide by [Cowen, David]
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Product Description

About the Author

David Cowen, CISSP, is a partner at G-C Partners, LLC, where he provides expert witness services and consulting to Fortune 500 companies worldwide. He is a coauthor of Anti-Hacker Tool Kit, Third Edition and two editions of Hacking Exposed Computer Forensics.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 5103 KB
  • Print Length: 344 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education; 1 edition (19 April 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BPO7AP8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #654,242 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars 19 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best intro to forensics book out there! 8 April 2013
By Jeffrey P. Rotenberger - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I was fortunate enough to get an advance reviewer copy of David Cowen's new book - Computer Forensics: A Beginner's Guide. After reading it, honestly, I was annoyed and a little bit pissed. I have a Masters in Information Security and it was my Computer Forensics class that got me interested in this field. By comparison the textbook I had for that class was dry, dull, stale and inadequate in its task compared to this book. What I would have given to have this as a reference for that class. Fortunately, now I do!

For those that are unfamiliar with the author; David has co-authored Hacking Exposed: Computer Forensics, writes a popular forensic blog ([...]) and is an experience Computer Forensic Examiner in the state of Texas.

What's to like about this book? To me, the biggest selling point of this book is how it reads. If you like the style of the Hacking Exposed books then you'll enjoy David's writing style as well. It comes mostly as a first person narrative with David's experiences sprinkled liberally throughout the book; and that's a good thing. It becomes very obvious in the reading that not only does the author know what he's talking about, he knows how to communicate it to a wide audience. I finished the entire book in three sittings and I attribute that to how well it is written.
The topics covered flow very well; starting with chapters on getting started, what can be done with computer forensics, how to get training and where to find current information. For the beginner, these chapters are invaluable as they lay the groundwork for the rest of the book as well as providing some great external references for finding more information about forensics. For the experienced forensicator, these chapters are valuable as a way to introduce new people to what you do as well as providing a great reference list of places to keep up-to-date on computer forensics.

From here the book quickly moves into setting up your own lab, what tools (both hardware and software) you'll need, and how to start your first investigation. There's a great chapter here on the importance of testing your tools and how to test them as well as several chapters on different types of forensic cases. The most valuable sections of the book, however, were the final two chapters on the back end of every investigation - documenting and reporting. Why? Because so much of the information in our field focuses on the technical aspects; new tools, new artifacts, new malware, etc., however, all of that is moot if it isn't properly documented and reported. David fortunately doesn't gloss over these topics, instead giving them two skillfully written chapters that will serve experienced and new forensicators well.

Without covering every chapter, I'll instead say that David does an outstanding job of covering a very broad level of topics in computer forensics, including many that you wouldn't expect to be in a book for beginners. And while the focus is on beginners, this book would make an excellent addition to any computer forensicator's library.
That said I did have a few minor quibbles with the book. There were a few minor spelling errors and some grammar issues but I expect all of those will be referenced on the accompanying website ([...]) and fixed in future versions. Another issue I had was that a few chapters' topic introductions did not match up to the chapter summaries. For example, Chapter 8 deals with creating forensic images. The topics listed as being covered do not mention mobile devices, yet it is discussed briefly in the chapter and then listed as a skilled learned in the chapter summary. In reality, the chapter mentions that the topic is rapidly changing and no methods for imaging mobile devices are documented. For a beginner it may be frustrating to see a skill listed as `covered' in the chapter when it was not. This happens a few times in the book but should not seriously detract from what I consider to overall be an outstanding computer forensics book.

In summary, if you have any interest in computer forensics, I highly recommend this book. If you're teaching a course on the topic, please do yourself and your students a favor and use this as your textbook. Your students will thank you!

Notes: My ARC was in .pdf form with no Table of Contents, Introduction or Index so I cannot speak to any issues in those areas of the book. I also cannot speak to any formatting issues that might exist with other e-versions of the book. There were none in my version but they do sometimes occur across different e-formats.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book delivers! 21 April 2013
By shadowboxer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Like the reviewer before me, I became interested in digital forensics after a course in my masters degree program. IMHO, this book lives up to its name. As an infosec pro trying to go the DFIR route, I found this work to have the perfect balance of technical detail, legal discussion, career tips, and real-world applicability. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and am more inspired now than before. My only complaint is that the example images in the Kindle version were terrible. In retrospect, I should've purchased the paperback and will gladly shell out another $25 to get this on my bookshelf. Much respect and thanks to the author!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent resource for anyone in the field of digital forensics! 24 April 2013
By Travis P Foley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is very well layed out giving new Digital Forensic Examiners a wealth of information all in one easy to read reference. I have only been in the field for a couple of years transitioning from a more traditional Information Security role and have found the information in this book to be the primary catalyst in my own growth and development.

The bottom line is this book allows the new Digital Forensic Examiner to benefit from the Author's years of hard work, knowledge, and experience saving A LOT of time, headaches, and allowing you hit the ground running in the right direction.

This resource is a must have for anyone in DFIR.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must have guide to starting a computer forensics career, or hobby. 8 May 2013
By Ben Starbuck - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a system admin of 5 years. I am looking to get into computer forensics. I purchased this book a week ago, and have been reading through it daily. This book goes into the subject matter with amazing precision, and the author doesn't hesitate to give you his personal opinions about how things really work, instead of just giving a theoretical best scenario environment.

I would high recommend this book to anyone wanting to get into forensics as a career or hobby. It has continually increased my hunger to learn, and one day, enter the field as a professional.
4.0 out of 5 stars but easily the best first book you will purchase on computer ... 3 Dec. 2014
By Jason Scott Whetzel - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is far from your first book, but easily the best first book you will purchase on computer forensics. Mr Cowen does an excellent job of introducing the subject matter and providing references and introducing the new learner to the community. This book is written in a very easy to read manner filled with personal pronouns and plain language. Mr Cowen does not waste time trying to church up the technical aspects and instead presents and introduces the material as it is, simply. This book is filled with the most basic techniques and methods used in computer forensics. At 282 pages, this is not a thick book, nor is it a complicated one. This is not your last book. Far from it, but it is your best first book. Going into the field, I was surprised how few books there are on the subject and those few there are, are very deep and technical in specific techniques that are rarely or unlikely to be encountered in the field. This book bridges that gap.

That being the case, where this book lacks.

There are no labs. Mr Cowen often gives links and screen shots of the data and how to go about finding it, but provides no labs. This is understandable for the sake of brevity, but in such a short book, it could have been added. Because the book covers SETH, ENCASE and FTK equally, along with both physical and Software write blockers, Mr Cowen assumedly left out labs because he couldn't cover all instances, especially not in a book he hopes to cover the basics. I understand that, but it seems Mr Cowen is trying to talk to the person already in the field, who is the least likely to purchase his book or at least benefit from it. The labs would have been served well in instructing the new student in the basic techniques, if not the specific tools.

Its for this simple reason I left out 1 star. Regardless, I highly recommend this book, and the information pertaining to the community itself is priceless, even for the established forensic examiner.
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