Free Must-Have “Security Engineering” Book

Ross Anderson and his publisher Wiley have released the 2nd edition of this popular academic security book for free.

So while we are on a “free” kick … I’ve been meaning to write about this essential reference for any seasoned or up in coming security pro. “Security Engineering: A Guide to Building Dependable Distributed Systems” written by Ross Anderson of the University of Cambridge and published by Wiley has been one of the “goto” references for teaching security over the past decade. Although more academic than many of the modern-day security books out there, “Security Engineering” not only covers the basics of security but also some of the intricacies of building secure systems from the ground up.

A lot of people ask me how to get started in security and I can definitely recommend checking this book out … especially now since the 2nd edition is free for all. Apparently, Ross convinced Wiley that giving out books after several years actually boosts once stagnant sales of older titles.

When I wrote the first edition, we put the chapters online free after four years and found that this boosted sales of the paper edition. People would find a useful chapter online and then buy the book to have it as a reference. Wiley and I agreed to do the same with the second edition, and now, four years after publication, I am putting all the chapters online for free. Enjoy them – and I hope you’ll buy the paper version to have as a convenient shelf reference.

(Note: As part of a campaign to bring forward some of our older posts that we feel still benefit the community, we’ve added this article to our Best Of category that will periodically get tweeted out. Please mention it to me on Twitter or contact us if there are any other posts you feel we should include in this category. This post was previously categorized under Infosec Blogs/Podcasts. [email protected]grecs)

To get an idea about what “Security Engineering” is all about here is its table of contents.

  • Table of contents
  • Preface
  • Acknowledgements
  • Chapter 1: What is Security Engineering?
  • Chapter 2: Usability and Psychology
  • Chapter 3: Protocols
  • Chapter 4: Access Control
  • Chapter 5: Cryptography
  • Chapter 6: Distributed Systems
  • Chapter 7: Economics
  • Chapter 8: Multilevel Security
  • Chapter 9: Multilateral Security
  • Chapter 10: Banking and Bookkeeping
  • Chapter 11: Physical Protection
  • Chapter 12: Monitoring and Metering
  • Chapter 13: Nuclear Command and Control
  • Chapter 14: Security Printing and Seals
  • Chapter 15: Biometrics
  • Chapter 16: Physical Tamper Resistance
  • Chapter 17: Emission Security
  • Chapter 18: API Security
  • Chapter 19: Electronic and Information Warfare
  • Chapter 20: Telecom System Security
  • Chapter 21: Network Attack and Defence
  • Chapter 22: Copyright and DRM
  • Chapter 23: The Bleeding Edge
  • Chapter 24: Terror, Justice and Freedom
  • Chapter 25: Managing the Development of Secure Systems
  • Chapter 26: System Evaluation and Assurance
  • Chapter 27: Conclusions
  • Bibliography
  • Index

And for those “professors” among us, Ross also provides a detailed breakdown of how they used the book in three courses at the University of Cambridge … complete with course material and exam questions.

Update 4/4/13 6:00 PM: There’s been some of great discussion about this book on some of the different news sites. Here’s the Hacker News thread where commenters mentioned a few places to download the entire book as one PDF. A programming subreddit posting also points out several other download resources. And of course both threads contain some great insight into “Security Engineering’s” content.

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Have you used this book as part of a university class or self-study? Any thoughts? Let us know in the comments below. Today’s post pic is from the University of Cambridge. See ya!

36 comments for “Free Must-Have “Security Engineering” Book

  1. April 3, 2013 at 11:05 pm

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  2. April 4, 2013 at 12:00 am

    HNews: Free Must-Have “Security Engineering” Book http://t.co/Lp0Klpozmz

  3. April 4, 2013 at 12:15 am

    This looks pretty awesome…definitely have to read soon: https://t.co/vzudAGekSu

  4. ankit singh
    April 4, 2013 at 12:24 am

    where i get this book it is avilable in pdf version or not if available please send me the link of it

  5. April 4, 2013 at 1:05 am

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  6. April 4, 2013 at 1:59 am

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  7. April 4, 2013 at 2:51 am

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  8. April 4, 2013 at 4:04 am

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  9. April 4, 2013 at 4:09 am

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  10. April 4, 2013 at 4:39 am

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  11. April 4, 2013 at 5:53 am

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  12. Pierre
    April 4, 2013 at 6:02 am
  13. April 4, 2013 at 6:14 am

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  14. April 4, 2013 at 6:42 am

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  15. April 4, 2013 at 7:47 am

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  16. April 4, 2013 at 8:49 am

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  17. April 4, 2013 at 9:20 am

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  18. April 4, 2013 at 10:08 am
  19. April 4, 2013 at 11:00 am

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  20. April 4, 2013 at 11:18 am

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  21. April 4, 2013 at 11:28 am

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  22. April 4, 2013 at 3:01 pm

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  23. April 4, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    “@virturity: Free Must-Have “Security Engineering” Book http://t.co/r2kVRLfGU9” Also http://t.co/Uauyjf4bCe

  24. April 4, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    Haven’t read it myself but worth checking out: Free Must-Have “Security Engineering” Book http://t.co/0YzjyzXOWm

  25. April 4, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    ankit/greenlander/Pierre: That looks like the the first edition. I added an update above that links to some threads on Hacker News and Reddit that point to full PDF versions of the second edition.

  26. April 4, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    Great book by Ross Anderson.
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  27. April 4, 2013 at 7:06 pm

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  28. April 4, 2013 at 7:51 pm

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  29. April 4, 2013 at 9:01 pm

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  30. April 4, 2013 at 10:46 pm

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  31. April 5, 2013 at 1:08 am

    “@newsycombinator: Free Must-Have Security Engineering Book http://t.co/QC8nnrSFpY” @SimPeccaud

  32. April 13, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    “#Security Engineering: A Guide to Building Dependable Distributed Systems” by R. Anderson https://t.co/TDxWTUtT2g v @Liberationtech #ebook

  33. April 14, 2013 at 2:16 am

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  34. April 30, 2014 at 12:28 pm

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  35. September 17, 2014 at 2:15 am

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