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Book Review: Red Team Field Manual

Title: Red Team Field Manual
Author: Ben Clark

 

TL;DR:
In short, a book I recommend for those times you’re caught on a Penetration Test without Internet access and you just can’t quite remember valid syntax for the tar command!
You won’t learn anything new as the book offers little in the way of explanation for anything and is most certainly just a lengthy, bound, cheat sheet – but, it’s cheap, packed full, and serves its specific purpose well.

Overview

The Red Team Field Manual aims to be a complete cheatsheet-in-book-form covering Windows, Linux, common tools, networking, Cisco IOS, all sorts. The book is made up of single line examples of command usage and most have five word or less descriptions, meaning that if you don’t already understand a concept or know how to use a tool, this book isn’t going to help.

Pros

The book is well organised with commands and descriptions displayed neatly on each page. It’s physically a tiny book so will easily fit inside your kitbag so you can forget about it until the time that it’s needed. Plus it’s inexpensive meaning that it’s not a big investment if it’s only going to save the day once in a while.

Cons

The physical copy that I’ve got is printed on cheap paper, with a weak binding I worry that it won’t last long enough bouncing around in my bag before I need it. Some of the descriptions seem purposely as short as possible, to the point of being useless. The command for setting a default gateway has the description text of “set gw” followed by a lot of white-space. I feel that the descriptions could have been expanded to become more useful in a lot of cases.

Decision

Overall I would recommend this book, although the print quality is definitely disappointing and the number of times I’m without Internet access in this day and age are so few, there are still times when I just need a quick pointer to remember a commands syntax. For such a low price adding this book to your kit bag isn’t a big deal and it might just save the day one day.