I've written a third edition of Security Engineering. The e-book version is available now for $42 from Wiley and for $47 from Amazon; paper copies are now shipping from Wiley USA and UK.
To order the book from Amazon, click here for delivery in the USA and here for the UK.
Here are the chapters, with links to the seven sample chapters as I last put them online for review:
‘Best computer security book published to date’
‘Buy buy buy read read’
Here are fifteen teaching videos we made based on the book for a security engineering class at Edinburgh, taught to masters students and fourth-year undergrads:
I'm very grateful to the dozens of people who pointed out errors and omissions. We've found a few more since going to press, as one does; here are the third edition errata.
With both the first edition in 2001 and the second edition in 2008, I put six chapters online for free at once, then released the others four years after publication. For the third edition, I negotiated an agreement with the publishers to put the chapters online for review as I wrote them. So the book came out by instalments, like Dickens' novels, from April 2019 to September 2020. On the first of November 2020, all except seven sample chapters disappeared from this page for a period of 42 months; I'm afraid Wiley insisted on that. But after that, the whole book will be free online forever.
This approach was inspired by the collaborative authorship model pioneered by my late friend and colleague David MacKay for his great books on sustainable energy and coding theory.
I made a video for the launch, which you can watch here. For comments, see our blog here, Bruce Schneier's blog here and El Pais here.
The Second Edition (2008)
Download for free here:
‘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
Errata and supplementary materials: 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.
This book was developed from material taught 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; many publishers (especially of music and software) are too defensive of copyright.
If you own the first edition of my book, I hope you liked it enough to upgrade to the second and third editions. I also have online errata for the first edition here.
There are reviews of the first edition, which was translated into Japanese, Chinese and Polish.
Return to Ross Anderson's home page