First, hats off to those authors contributing their books to the DFIR Book Share Challenge and participating in this endeavor.
And just as important, thanks to the winners of the books who are fulfilling the challenge of passing the books along after reading them. My high hope is to create positive communications in our community with the books, in that we have a chance to be in the path of where the books will travel; in that we can talk about the content of the books in a manner to share information; and in that we can talk to each other as we hand off the book from one person to another. Sign up to win a book here: https://www.social.dfir.training/groups/viewgroup/3-dfir-book-giveaways
So far, I have shipped out three books in October ( Investigating Windows Systems , Placing the Suspect Behind the Keyboard , and the X-Ways Forensics Practitioner’s Guide ) and will be shipping out two books in November ( Hands-On Incident Response and Digital Forensics , and Windows Registry Forensics/2E ). Each month from now, I will attempt to give away at least two books a month, for as long as there are DFIR books to give away (this could go on for quite a while).
The book reviews may take time to complete….but I’ll have something done with the reviews on different platforms including Amazon reviews, a blog post, maybe a video review, and things like that to help market these books. When I say “market these books”, I mean that in a way of sharing that the books exist. I try to keep up on the new books coming out, but there is always a book I miss because I never saw anything about the book coming out. Part of this challenge is to throw a little marketing your way about a book that you may not have known about, but may really rock the way you do your work. As for me, if there is one book, or a page in a book, or a paragraph, or even one sentence that pushes me forward in how I do business , then it was well worth the time to read.
If you haven’t read the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of this challenge, please check out my blog post about it: FREE #DFIR Books!
I quoted Stephen King for this blog post. I find King’s quote very relevant to our jobs in both reading and writing. I'd like to add to King's quote with "and if you don't have time to read, you'll not be good at writing or reading" . Reading fiction might will help your report writing, but that is not what I am talking about. I mean that reading DFIR non-fiction will not only give you tools for you to mechanically do your job, but it will also give you tools to help you write about your mechanics. Part of our work is to solve problems. The other part is to write and talk about it. You must have both ends of the equation to be considered competent.
Being successful in DFIR requires developing a self-learning attitude. Self-learning most always involves reading books because a book on the topic you are learning will save you hours, if not days or weeks, compared to trying to figure out something that has been already discussed and detailed in a book. Learn what has already been written about in a book, and then run with that information to push it forward with your own experience and research. Don't reinvent the wheel unless the wheel is broken.
In short….read the books. As many as you can get your hands on.
When you pass the books along, I encourage you to encourage the next person to keep the books moving forward. Share the sharing of the book on social media, send me something of where the book went (city and country) and I’ll add it to the map.
The drawing will be tonight (Oct 31) at 7pm (PDT). I'll notify the winner via email after the drawing. I'll blog/tweet about the winner after confirming that the winner wants the book.
I've had a few questions on this book giveaway, so here goes:
What is the catch?
No catch. The books are free. The shipping is free. It's free (to you). Everything is paid by the book authors (if they donate a book, which they have to buy and ship), and me (to buy the books authors don't donate, and shipping). The only thing that can be considered a catch is that you are limited to winning one book, ever (at least from this challenge).
How is the winner chosen?
I export a list of email address from the book giveaway social group to a spreadsheet. I number each email. I use an online random number generator to pick 4 numbers, one by one (email addresses are not entered online for the drawing). The first number is the winner, unless the winner wants to pass and try for the next book. Then I go to the next person on the list.
Why do I have to sign up in a social group?
Because this is the easiest way for me to keep track of who wants a book. Plus, sign up once and you're entered for every book for as long as I do this. That is at least one book a month and up to three books a month. You can use any email address you want. Your real one or a fake one. Just be sure to check your email in case you win, otherwise, you have about a day before I go to the next person on the list.
As to 'yet another thing to check', you do not have to check the social group ever. If you win, I'll send you an email. As far as emails go, that is the only email you will receive for signing up in the social group. I'm not spamming, selling, or sharing the email addresses. This is just the easiest method to have a list that you control because you can remove your account at any time. Or you can leave your account active and maybe you will receive one email asking for an address to ship you a free DFIR book :)
I want to keep the book, not give it away. (a statement, not a question)
Unfortunately, I have had a few comments about wanting to keep the book instead of passing it forward. Read the reasoning behind this challenge here: https://www.dfir.training/dfir-training-categories-k2/item/160-free-dfir-books . In short, keep the book if you want. That is your decision. But remember, who ever keeps the book that they win or are gifted down the line, effectively stunts the challenge and prevents everyone else from being part of this DFIR sharing challenge . We (me and the authors who offer to donate their books), want to encourage sharing and positive communication in the DFIR community. The "books" are just a medium to facilitate this mission. No one is making money from giving away books. One point to make is that authors don't get free reign on their books. They typically receive a small batch of books to give away in hopes of a review, or to someone that may have helped with the book, family members and friends, and that's it. If an author wants a copy of their own book, they have to buy it. So, for the authors donating books, I sincerely appreciate it as I also am donating my own books too :)
The rest of the responses that I have received give me hope that we, as in the DFIR community, will have books circulating and generating conversations about the content of the books, the work we do, and just as important, speak to one another about something positive.
A personal note:
If I were to win one of these books, especially a book that I did not have and was going to buy anyway, I would not be able to wait to dig into it and finish reading it just so that I could put my name in it and find someone to pass it on. But that's just me. Well, actually I hope that it is not just me..
A tip on finding someone to give the book away, especially if you are shy to start a conversation
When at a training course, DFIR college class, conference, or your workplace, have the book sitting on your lap or on the table. Someone will say something about the book. That means they opened the door for you. All you have to do is step in the threshold! Tell how you got it. Tell that the book needs to move to the next person. Show the names written in the front of the book and the highlighted passages. And then.............wait for it.....ask if they are interested in being next in the DFIR book sharing challenge. Boom. You did it.
For those who are not shy, all you gotta say is, "Hey, have you read this book yet?"