Hacking Exposed is a security handbook that shows how attacks are mounted on a network, and ways of defeating them.
As the book is aimed at network administrators, it can get quite technical and mathematical. However, many simply explained concepts allow non-network people to gain an understanding of hacking. Many of the techniques used in recent attacks on high-profile sites are explained in detail and reveal the understanding the authors have about security issues. There is a strong focus on Microsoft products such as NT, with some detail given to Novell and Unix.
Thankfully, the authors dispel many myths and do not treat hackers as heroes or super-geeks, like many media outlets suggest. Instead, they explain the likely motivation and targets, common types of attacks and the most popular items in a hacker's toolkit. At times, it leads you to wonder if the authors were once renegade hackers before being recruited by security firms.
The underlying theme is that security is everyone's problem. For users, the book rams home a simple point - choosing a secure password is critical, and many of the solutions to attacks come from user education in this area. For network administrators, or anyone else interested in security - including hackers - this book gives great insight and knowledge to help guard against the rising threat of hacking.