Somewhat US-centric in the legal discussion in Chapter one and some parts of the book fail to live up to the ethical standards that the first Chapter sets.
The huge book covers all the different aspects of security and a range of programs that are readily available to both secure and to test the security of those differen areas. The large number of authors means though that the writing style and ease of understanding varies from one section of the book to the next. There has been some attampt made to try to make the book appear as a whole instead of as separate books published in the one cover but there are some sections of the book where this has not been done as well as in other areas.
The huge range of security tools covered along with how to use them should be of great use to anyone looking to improve their system security. Unfortunately some of the sections discuss tools that are perhaps more useful for breaking into systems than defending them (hopefully no would be crackers will buy the book - the established crackers probably already have those products).
The first chapter doesn't really fit with the rest of the book either. While the rest of the book covers security in general - both how to set it up and how to break through it where possible, the first chapter concerns itself with US law and ethics. Not only is the US not the only part of the world where computer security is relevant (and the rest of the world have different laws) but also the ethical views expressed in that chapter are not lived up to in all of the rest of the book and some of the chapters cross the line from white hat security into black hat.
The other issue that I had with this book is that the huge size of the book makes the binding a problem. The first time I put the book downwith it open, the binding split almost half way up the page meaning that the first few dozen pages in my copy are now only partly attached to the rest of the book.
I am looking forward to exploring some of the tools covered in some of the chapters in a lot more depth.
This article written by Stephen Chapman, Felgall Pty Ltd.