‘There is an extraordinary textbook written by Ross Anderson, professor of computer security at University of Cambridge. It’s called Security Engineering, and despite being more than 1,000 pages long, it’s one of the most readable pop-science slogs of the decade.’
‘I'm incredibly impressed that one person could produce such a thorough
coverage. Moreover, you make the stuff easy and enjoyable to read. I
find it just as entertaining — and far more useful —
than novels (and my normal science fiction). When I first got it in
the mail, I said to myself "I'm never going to read all of that." But
once I started reading I just kept going and going. Fantastic: well
done. Now, let's hope that all those in charge of security for
information technology will also read the book and heed the lessons.’
‘The book that you MUST READ
RIGHT NOW is the second edition of Ross Anderson's Security Engineering book.
Ross did a complete pass on his classic tome and somehow made it even
‘It's beautiful. This is the best book on the topic there
All chapters from the second edition now available free online!
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 conveient shelf reference:
Here are the errata for the second edition, and here's a page of notes and links concerning relevant topics that I've come across since publication.
Supplementary materials: If you're a college professor thinking of using my book in class, note that we use my book in three courses at Cambridge:
The first edition (2001)
You can also download all of the first edition for free:
The foreword, preface and other front matter
My goal in making the first edition freely available five years after publication was twofold. First, I wanted to reach the widest possible audience, especially among poor students. Second, I am a pragmatic libertarian on free culture and free software issues; I think that many publishers (especially of music and software) are too defensive of copyright. (My colleague David MacKay found that putting his book on coding theory online actually helped its sales. Book publishers are getting the message faster than the music or software folks.) I expect to put the whole second edition online too in a few years.
If you own the first edition of my book, I hope you liked it enough to upgrade to the second edition. I also have online errata for the first edition here.
Following enquiries from blind students, Jose C. Lacal has contributed these MP3 files of the first edition: preface, chapter 1, chapter 2, chapter 3, chapter 4, chapter 6, and chapter 7.
There are reviews of the first edition, which was translated into Japanese, Chinese and Polish.
Return to Ross Anderson's home page