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Threat Modeling: Designing for Security by Adam Shostack

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Introduction

All models are wrong, some models are useful.

— George Box

This book describes the useful models you can employ to address or mitigate these potential threats. People who build software, systems, or things with software need to address the many predictable threats their systems can face.

Threat modeling is a fancy name for something we all do instinctively. If I asked you to threat model your house, you might start by thinking about the precious things within it: your family, heirlooms, photos, or perhaps your collection of signed movie posters. You might start thinking about the ways someone might break in, such as unlocked doors or open windows. And you might start thinking about the sorts of people who might break in, including neighborhood kids, professional burglars, drug addicts, perhaps a stalker, or someone trying to steal your Picasso original.

Each of these examples has an analog in the software world, but for now, the important thing is not how you guard against each threat, but that you're able to relate to this way of thinking. If you were asked to help assess a friend's house, you could probably help, but you might lack confidence in how complete your analysis is. If you were asked to secure an office complex, you might have a still harder time, and securing a military base or a prison seems even more difficult. In those cases, your instincts are insufficient, and you'd need tools to help tackle the questions. This book will give you the tools to think ...

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