Summary and Info
I reviewed the first edition of Hacking Exposed: Wireless (HEW) in May 2007, and offered four stars. Three years later I can confidently say that Hacking Exposed: Wireless, 2nd Ed (HEW2) is a solid five star book. After reading my 2007 review, I believe the authors took my suggestions seriously, and those of other reviewers, and produced HEW2, the best book on wireless security available. If you want to understand wireless -- and not just 802.11, but also Bluetooth, ZigBee, and DECT -- HEW2 is the book for you.
Books in the Hacking Exposed (HE) series that implement the winning HE formula do the following: 1) explain a technology, including aspects you may have never heard of before; 2) explain how to break that technology; and 3) explain how to mitigate the attack, if possible. HEW2 uses this methodology and the result is a great HE book. HEW2 is also cross-platform, usually providing advice on using Windows, Linux, or Mac OS X. Furthermore, this advice is exceptionally practical and relevant. The authors not only describe what works, but also what doesn't work. I got the sense that I was speaking with a pro who was willing to share tips from the trenches, not theory copied from a Web site.
Other aspects of HEW2 make it a winner. The authors post three free chapters on their Web site as background that they didn't want to include in the main text. Their Web site also contains code and other background material from the book, like pcap files. Although I am not on the front lines of wireless hacking, I got the sense that these authors do live on that edge. They explained Software Defined Radio, hardware specifically for attacking wireless devices, hardware mods, and other custom approaches that extend beyond normal wireless techniques. I also liked their "end-to-end" examples for attacking Mac OS X and Windows, integrating client-side attacks with wireless activities. Their use of NetMon and Metasploit was solid. Finally, I loved that HEW2 doesn't start and end with 802.11; it also incorporates Bluetooth, ZigBee, and DECT.
I have no complaints for the authors of HEW2. My only suggestion would be to incorporate attacks on GSM and other mobile technologies into the third edition.
If you want to learn how to attack and defend wireless devices, HEW2 is the right book. Bravo.