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I find it really hard to find resources about computer security. I asked questions on message boards about key loggers and viruses and I got negative assumption from people assuming the the worse. Also, I don't think that I can trust random message boards.

I know that it is a broad topic, but are there any good websites that I can follow and learn from that are targeted to beginner with some samples?

I am a developer (or at least want to be one) and I have a CS degree if that helps.

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have you looked into SANS? Looked at any of the IEEE resources? –  GlenH7 Jun 5 '12 at 22:13
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there's an stackexchange for that –  ratchet freak Jun 5 '12 at 22:18
    
You can look at Hack This Site! and lurking on our own IT Security stack exchange. –  Oleksi Jun 5 '12 at 22:18
    
@ratchetfreak For some reason I missed it. Thanks! –  Ammar Ahmed Jun 5 '12 at 22:24
    
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2 Answers

up vote 16 down vote accepted

Honestly, 90% of the "hacking" books and resources out there are junk. While they may give you insight into how script kiddies work, most don't go much further than that.

The only true way to understand computer security is to understand systems (software and/or hardware in some cases) very thoroughly. In wholly understanding a given system, you will also be able to identify its weak points and vulnerabilities.

Seeing as how you have a CS degree, you're (hopefully) not afraid to dig into code. Take a look at some OS software and look for potential vulnerabilities (SQL injection attacks, buffer overflows or any other category as listed in the OWASP vulnerability category list).

Other good resources are:

Of course, to keep abreast of the most recent developments, you'll want to get yourself onto the Bugtraq mailing list.

Having said all that, it's been quite some time since I invested any time into security-related matters, so there may be other resources that I'm not aware of.

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+1 for systemic thinking. While the vast majority of security vulnerabilities are blatant stupid programming errors by morons, the interesting vulnerabilities, i.e. those in heavily reviewed carefully crafted systems software such as Windows, Linux, Apache, banking terminals, smart cards etc. are often due to extremely complex interactions between rather simple independent pieces. –  Jörg W Mittag Jun 5 '12 at 23:24
    
And if you want a fun one, take a look at timing attacks. –  Brendan Long Jun 6 '12 at 4:03
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The reality is that computer security is no as far removed from real world security models as most people, particularly the media and programmrs think. I believe that you ned to understand secuirity concepts before you can understand computer security. Hence my advise if to read up on the works of Bruce Schneier. The book is Cryptonomicon is entertaining and insiteful reading.

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