Cyber book suggestions

Submitted by: Daryl Haegley, Director, Mission Assurance & Cyber Deterrence at Dod


•          Introduction to Networking: How the Internet Works by Charles R. Severance:  Short but provides a very accessible introduction to the basics of networking.  Individuals who have taken Network+ or another introductory course may find it overly basic.

•          Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet by Andrew Blum: This book is essentially a travelogue focusing on the physical sites that make up the global internet architecture.  It provides a readable introduction to internet exchanges, peering, fiber-optic cable infrastructure, and other esoteric topics that are seldom addressed outside of niche publications (and certainly not as painlessly as they are handled by Blum). 

•          Worm: The First Digital War by Mark Bowden: The subtitle is misleading—the book definitely does not address a “digital war”—but Worm is nevertheless a very readable description of the global cybersecurity community’s attempts to battle the Conficker worm.  The technical descriptions of the malware are decent and the book does a good job of showing the multitude of government and private sector entities that must work together across national boundaries to degrade large-scale botnets.

•          The Cuckoo’s Egg: Tracking a Spy Through the Maze of Computer Espionage by Cliff Stoll:  An entertaining and accessible classic of the cybersecurity literature canon.  Although it was written 20 years ago it is still pertinent today. 

•          Countdown to Zero Day: Stuxnet and the Launch of the World’s First Digital Weapon by Kim Zetter: Probably the best description of advanced malware available for non-specialist readers. Also provides a decent overview of the computer security industry and the collaboration that takes place to reverse engineer destructive malware samples. Very readable.

•          Network Attacks and Exploitation: A Framework by Matthew Monte: Monte is a former practitioner and this book clearly and concisely lays out some frameworks and approaches to thinking through offense and defense in cyberspace. He describes the different steps required to execute network attacks and presents and analyzes useful case studies of specific incidents.

•          On Cyber: Towards an Operational Art for Cyber Conflict by Greg Conti and David Raymond: The authors have a combination of operational experience and technical expertise and in On Cyber they attempt to bridge the gap between the tactics of cybersecurity and the strategic implications of cyber conflict.