Reviews by Mat Powell

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Network Security Through Data Analysis

Network Security Through Data Analysis

Building Situational Awareness

Mat's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 3.0

On Apr 2, 2014 Mat Powell wrote: Network Security Through Data Analysis
Understanding your logs and traffic flows are critical to identifying and remediating threats to (or in) your environment. Full Review >

Malware Forensics Field Guide for Linux Systems

Malware Forensics Field Guide for Linux Systems

Digital Forensics Field Guides

Mat's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Feb 19, 2014 Mat Powell wrote: Malware Forensic Field Guide for Linux Systems
Much like it’s Windows counterpart, the Malware Forensics Field Guide for Linux Systems does not disappoint. With this book, some Linux fundamentals, a few open source tools, and a suspect piece of software you can begin the incident handling process for a suspect piece of software found on a Linux system. Full Review >

Regular Expressions Cookbook

Regular Expressions Cookbook

Mat's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Jan 10, 2014 Mat Powell wrote: Regular Expressions Cookbook
I’ve always been a fan of the ‘Cookbook’ series of books: it’s the information I want, when I want it, without the fluff. This book definitely does not disappoint. Here’s how the book is laid out: 1. Present the problem. 2. Present the solution 3. Present the solution if it’s different in .net, java, pcre, etc. Full Review >

Malware Forensics Field Guide for Windows Systems

Malware Forensics Field Guide for Windows Systems

Digital Forensics Field Guides

Mat's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Jan 2, 2014 Mat Powell wrote: Malware Forensics Field Guide for Windows Systems
While not as in-depth as "Practical Malware Analysis" or the "Malware Analysts Cookbook", "Malware Forensics Field Guide for Windows Systems" provides a great field guide for those looking to either create or compliment their incident response process by detailing industry standard techniques for reversing malware. Full Review >

The Linux Programming Interface

The Linux Programming Interface

A Linux and UNIX System Programming Handbook

Mat's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Dec 4, 2013 Mat Powell wrote: The Linux Programming Interface
If you’re looking to do some low-level Linux API/Kernel development, this is the book you want close by. This book has it all— from file IO, to processes, threading, memory management, socket programming, you name it. All with well explained examples in C. This book is incredibly well structured and the authors delivers well explained concepts with code examples that makes this a vital reference book to any Linux system developer or software engineer. Another great aspect of this book is that every system call comes with a complete, fully functional example program. This is unlike a lot of development books that just highlight particular methods or calls. Definitely of the the best Linux reference books I’ve read. Highly recommend. Full Review >

The Tangled Web

The Tangled Web

A Guide to Securing Modern Web Applications

Mat's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Nov 19, 2013 Mat Powell wrote: The Tangled Web
The Tangled Web provides an in-depth academic approach to web security to examine the current threat landscape, how we got here, and how to better secure your applications. Full Review >

Hacking Web Apps

Hacking Web Apps

Detecting and Preventing Web Application Security Problems

Mat's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 4.0

On Sep 5, 2013 Mat Powell wrote: Hacking Web Apps
The web is vulnerable. We all know this. Hacking Web Apps explores eight core areas of web applications with information needed for both attack and defense. Full Review >

The Practice of Network Security Monitoring

The Practice of Network Security Monitoring

Understanding Incident Detection and Response

Mat's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Sep 2, 2013 Mat Powell wrote: The Practice of Network Security Monitoring
The Practice of Network Security Monitoring by Richard Bejtlich has been one of my most anticipated reads of this year. I am a huge fan of The Tao of Network Security Monitoring and the Practice of Network Security Monitoring is a fresh reboot / addition to it’s predecessor. By utilizing NSM practices, you can detect and respond to intruders on your network and do something about them before they damage your enterprise. Full Review >

Blackhatonomics

Blackhatonomics

An Inside Look at the Economics of Cybercrime

Mat's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 4.0

On Aug 7, 2013 Mat Powell wrote: Blackhatonomics
There’s just something fascinating about cybercrime. For an industry that’s rapidly (and dangerously) growing, it’s important to understand the psyche of your adversaries in order to mitigate risk to your network. Blackhatonomics takes you through (a rather interesting) journey into the history of cybercrime and it’s evolution up until today. From blue boxes to Stuxnet, the psychology, motivation, geolocation, and proliferation of crime packs is reported in a great, easy to read format. What’s even more disturbing is the the lack of enforcement and legislation, making it a prime time to be a cyber criminal. Until governments start allocating more resources and legislation start empowering them to track and prosecute them, cyber crime will continue to evolve and become more and more enticing to criminals globally. Full Review >

The Hacker's Guide to OS X

The Hacker's Guide to OS X

Exploiting OS X from the Root Up

Mat's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 4.0

On Jul 11, 2013 Mat Powell wrote: The Hacker's Guide to OSX
It’s no surprise that Mac users can no longer ignore the security concerns of OSX. While much of this content is slightly dated, it still provides an insight to the increasing risks associated with OSX and (briefly) iOS. Full Review >

Linux System Programming

Linux System Programming

Talking Directly to the Kernel and C Library

Mat's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 3.0

On Jul 1, 2013 Mat Powell wrote: Linux System Programming
I picked up a copy of Linux System Programming to help me understand how to directly interact with the Linux kernel and from that, use these skills to help with reverse-engineering malware. While my expectations weren’t exceeded by any means, the book could have been so much more. Full Review >

Understanding and Using C Pointers

Understanding and Using C Pointers

Mat's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Jun 2, 2013 Mat Powell wrote: Understanding & Using C Pointers
Pointers and memory management are probably the two most intimidating factors about C. Where was this book when I was in college? Understanding and Using C Pointers is probably the best book i’ve read on pointers and memory management. The author does an excellent job explaining the subject matter and providing clear, concise examples along with the text. Full Review >

Windows PowerShell 3.0 Step by Step

Windows PowerShell 3.0 Step by Step

Mat's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On May 12, 2013 Mat Powell wrote: Windows PowerShell™ 3.0 Step by Step
I’ve always been a C-variant kind of guy. For Windows development (especially if i’ve needed to integrate with anything Microsoft) C# has always been my preferred choice. A colleague was always talking about PowerShell so I decided to give it a shot. Being completely new to the PowerShell arena, this book helped immensely. The author starts from the basics and builds from there. The examples were great and easy to follow, and the pace was spot on. Highly recommend to someone wanting to pick up PowerShell or build upon an existing foundation. Full Review >

Learning Cocoa with Objective-C

Learning Cocoa with Objective-C

Developing for the Mac and iOS App Stores

Mat's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 4.0

On Jan 20, 2013 Mat Powell wrote: Learning Cocoa with Objective-C
A great introduction to iOS and application development for Apple platforms. Although targeted to the beginner and intermediate crowd, it still manages to deliver a great foundation into iOS development. Examples were well explained and for the most part, error free. I’d recommend this book for anyone looking to get into development with Cocoa & Objective-C. Full Review >

21st Century C

21st Century C

C Tips from the New School

Mat's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 2.0

On Dec 24, 2012 Mat Powell wrote: 21st Century C
A great concept, however once I read about an acceptable baseline for memory leaks, I had a hard time finishing it. There are some great (and some terrible) tips in this book, so take it for what it is. I picked up a few things here and there, but overall i would not recommend this book. Full Review >

Python for Kids

Python for Kids

A Playful Introduction to Programming

Mat's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Nov 28, 2012 Mat Powell wrote: Python for Kids
I’ve heard some great things about this series and decided to check it out for myself. Python for Kids is well, for kids. The author starts from the ground up on building applications with the python language with material that is simplistic and entertaining enough for anyone to go through it. The book covers the basics of installing, configuring, and developing in python from the shell. Later on you get to tinker with turtles to make shapes and simplistic games. An overall entertaining and enjoyable read—even from a season developer standpoint. Recommended for young audiences or those looking to get into programming. Full Review >

CLR via C#

CLR via C#

Mat's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Nov 23, 2012 Mat Powell wrote: CLR via C#
Probably one of the best entry-mid level reference books on the C# language i’ve had the pleasure of reading. CLR via C# is a sizable volume that hammers out great concepts and techniques of OOP by showing how they operate in the CLR. Full Review >

Python for Data Analysis

Python for Data Analysis

Data Wrangling with Pandas, NumPy, and IPython

Mat's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 4.0

On Nov 19, 2012 Mat Powell wrote: Python for Data Analysis
A great book on statistical analysis with Python utilizing big-data. I was skeptical about this title at first (I’m not much of a mathematician at all) I was overall pleased with the experience and flow of this book. Mostly focusing on Pandas, this book also cameos IPython and Num-Py. Recommended for anyone who’s doing some serious number crunching or analysis with large datasets. Full Review >

Start Here! Learn JavaScript

Start Here! Learn JavaScript

Mat's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 3.0

On Sep 29, 2012 Mat Powell wrote: Start Here - Learning Javascript
Not a bad little beginners book on javascript. With that in mind, if you’ve had ANY experience in software development or javascripting—you probably own’t get much out of it at all. Full Review >

The Artist's Guide to GIMP

The Artist's Guide to GIMP

Creative Techniques for Photographers, Artists, and Designers (Covers GIMP 2.8)

Mat's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Sep 18, 2012 Mat Powell wrote: The Artist's Guide to GIMP
Decided to take a little detour from the world of technology and check out a different book. This one happened to be on GIMP. While I’ve always appreciated the power and versatility of GIMP, i’ve never really known how to make use of about 99% of the features it contained. That’s where this book comes in handy. Full Review >

Intermediate Perl

Intermediate Perl

Mat's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 4.0

On Aug 16, 2012 Mat Powell wrote: Giving Perl a Fair Shot
When I obtained my copy of the updated Intermediate Perl from O’Reilly, I was pretty stoked. For awhile, i’ve really wanted to give perl another serious shot (some of my colleagues swear by it), and I figured this would be a great time to do that. Full Review >

PostgreSQL: Up and Running

PostgreSQL: Up and Running

Mat's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 4.0

On Aug 2, 2012 Mat Powell wrote: PostgeSQL Up & Running
At a commanding 163 pages, PostgreSQL Up in Running is a quick read for those looking for the basics of administrating your postgres installation (oddly, installing/configuring is not in scope of this book). The book goes over basic configuration, however the chapters i was after were the chapters on functions, performance tuning, and replication. Overall a great little reference for any user/administrator of PostgreSQL. Full Review >

Safe C++

Safe C++

How to avoid common mistakes

Mat's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 4.0

On Jul 30, 2012 Mat Powell wrote: Safe C++
The latest C++ from O’Reilly promotes writing safe code. Safe C++ is an intermediate book that preaches good coding practices to ensure your code runs as efficiently (and safely) as possible. At under 150 pages and small, precise code snippets, this book goes pretty quick. The first couple of chapters cover basics and get into bugs, then the book moves into pointers, memory leaks, proper utilization of constructors/destructors, debugging and testing. A great (and quick) read for those looking to polish their skills in C++. Full Review >

Practical Malware Analysis

Practical Malware Analysis

The Hands-On Guide to Dissecting Malicious Software

Mat's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Jul 24, 2012 Mat Powell wrote: Practical Malware Analysis
Practical Malware Analysis is a great introduction into the world of malware analysis and disassembly. From the start you will learn relevant skills on how to successfully (and safely) reverse engineer malware and create host-based and network-based signatures for the exercises. The labs are (usually) broken out into 3 parts: One for beginners, intermediate, and advanced skill sets. I really enjoyed this concept and wished more technical books took this approach. It allows you to complete the book, practice what you’ve learned (or read another book on the topic) then come back and revisit the more difficult labs. Highly recommend for anyone in the information security realm who works with or combats malware. Full Review >

Head First HTML5 Programming

Head First HTML5 Programming

Building Web Apps with JavaScript

Mat's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 1.0

On Mar 5, 2012 Mat Powell wrote: Head First HTML5 Programming
This is the first (and LAST) book from the Head First series that I will be reading. I don’t want to do crossword puzzles or look at pictures of tigers to learn HTML5. I want a moderately serious book that conveys a technological topic. These books are radically different from the core O’Reilly books and is a terrible let-down. Full Review >

PHP & MySQL: The Missing Manual

PHP & MySQL: The Missing Manual

Mat's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 2.0

On Feb 12, 2012 Mat Powell wrote: PHP & MySQL : The Missing Manual
I’m a big fan of the Missing Manual series of books. Their information is (generally) straightfoward and workable. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of this book. This book was riddled with errors (unworkable code)—even in the authors digital download. The author also jumped around and sometimes talked about placing code in a particular place, but never actually told you where that place was. That being said, the book does attempt to give you a ground-up approach to building sites with PHP & MySQL, but with all of the coding errors and sporadic navigation this book simply fails to deliver. Full Review >

Metasploit

Metasploit

The Penetration Tester's Guide

Mat's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Nov 10, 2011 Mat Powell wrote: Metasploit: The Penetration Testers Guide
If you’re seriously looking into doing some penetration testing, this is the book for you. The authors quickly take you through a crash course in metasploit basics and from there start building your foundation for discovery and exploitation. You’ll start with basic navigation and OS fingerprinting and eventually get to opening up (root) sessions on the target machine through various vulnerabilities—through the notorious MS08-067, client-side exploitation, web exploits, and even SQLServer exploits. You’ll also cover some of the key auxiliary tools used—sniffers, scanners, and crawlers. Full Review >

Learning Rails 3

Learning Rails 3

Mat's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 4.0

On Jul 31, 2011 Mat Powell wrote: Learning Rails 3
To be honest, I’m still not a huge fan of Rails. Personal preference, of course. I’ve tried several online tutorials and getting started guides and conceptually it just seemed convoluted to me. Then I got ahold of this book. While i’m still not ruby’s greatest fan, the authors did a great job of presenting the content in short, precise chapters. Each chapter had a critical point to teach, and taught it well and in a minimal amount of pages as to keep from sliding off topic. Full Review >

MacRuby: The Definitive Guide - Early Release

MacRuby: The Definitive Guide - Early Release

Ruby and Cocoa on OS X

Mat's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 4.0

On Jul 5, 2011 Mat Powell wrote: MacRuby: The Definitive Guide by Matt Aimonetti
I managed to snag an early release copy of MacRuby: The Definitive Gude from O’Reilly books. While for a tech book it’s relatively short, (209 pages and the last two chapters are still “todo”) it seems to be a great reference volume for the Ruby programmer. Full Review >

HTML5 Canvas

HTML5 Canvas

Mat's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Jun 23, 2011 Mat Powell wrote: HTML5 Canvas by Steve Fulton & Jeff Fulton
With all the hype going in the tech community about HTML5 and it’s predicted future, I decided to pick up this book from O’Reilly tinker around with it and see what’s what. Needless to say, I’m bought in. Full Review >

JavaScript: The Definitive Guide

JavaScript: The Definitive Guide

Mat's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Apr 29, 2011 Mat Powell wrote: JavaScript: The Definitive Guide by David Flanagan
I've heard that this is the book if you wanted THE book on JavaScript. This book explains just about everything there is about JavaScript--the theories, the practice, the hows and whys. Full Review >

Take Control of iPhone and iPod touch Networking & Security, iOS 4 Edition

Take Control of iPhone and iPod touch Networking & Security, iOS 4 Edition

Mat's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 4.0

On Apr 18, 2011 Mat Powell wrote: Take Control of iPhone and iPod touch Networking & Security, iOS 4 Edition by Glenn Fleishman
A rather light read on an introduction to iOS networking and security. The book was enough to inform, but not go overboard on the how's and why's making it a quick and informative read. Full Review >

Programming iOS 4 - Early Release

Programming iOS 4 - Early Release

Fundamentals of iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch Development

Mat's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 3.0

On Apr 9, 2011 Mat Powell wrote: Programming iOS 4 by Matt Neuburg
I must say that this book wasn't quite what I was looking for in an iOS4 book. While the book contained good content, I thought it contained more concepts and theory over actual implementation. The book was divided up into 7 sections (the Language, the IDE, Cocoa, Views, Interface, Some Frameworks, and Final Topics). Full Review >

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