DSU's Engebretson authors book Pat Engebretson

Dakota State University's Pat Engebretson recently authored a book in his specialty areas of hacking and penetration testing. Engebretson is an assistant professor in the DSU College of Business and Information Systems. He received his undergraduate from North Dakota State University and his masters and doctorate at Dakota State University.

Engebretson's book, The Basics of Hacking and Penetration Testing, serves as an introduction to the steps required to complete a penetration test or perform an ethical hack. A penetration test, or pen test, is a method of evaluating the security of a computer system or network by simulating an attack from a malicious source. The purpose of this type of testing is to determine the impact an attack could have on a business, and help that business identify and fix any vulnerable areas. Students in Dakota State University's Computer and Network Security degree study penetration testing as part of their major. Engebretson has been teaching the course "Introduction to Penetration Testing" at DSU for 5 years. 

Ethical hacking may sound like an oxymoron, but it is actually an important tool in network security.  An ethical hacker is a computer and network expert who attacks a security system on behalf of its owners, seeking vulnerabilities that a malicious hacker could exploit. To test a security system, ethical hackers use the same methods as their less principled counterparts, but report problems instead of taking advantage of them.

Each chapter in Engebretson's book contains hands-on examples to teach readers how to interpret the results of their pen testing and ethical hacks, and how to apply them in later stages of testing. 

"The book is an excellent resource for anyone who is interested in penetration testing or ethical hacking but doesn't know where to begin," says Engebretson. "It is filled with lots of hands on examples and makes no assumption of prior knowledge. Going through the book will allow the reader to confidently tackle more complex and in-depth security topics."

The book is available at local bookstores, Amazon.com, and other Internet retailers. It is also available in popular eBook formats including Kindle, Nook, and many others.

Last Updated: 1/10/12