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Steal This Computer Book 2 : What They Won't Tell You About the Internet
Release Date: January, 2000
Publisher: No Starch Press
Here's a capsule review of Steal This Computer Book 2: Don't bother. It's a directory of sites, combined with background information (mostly at USA Today depth) about Internet security and online privacy issues. Its practical advice reflects little more than common sense ("The best way to prevent and cure a computer virus is to buy an antivirus program") and its anecdotal material also tends toward the obvious ("...The better virus writers tend to be highly skilled programmers"). Even sections that sound promising ("Writing Your Own Online Harassment Program") contain very few details, and prove to be pretty much useless. In addition, it's printed in an annoying typeface, and several times it quotes obscenity-riddled hacker graffiti (because, you see, the book is so radical and edgy and all). The particularly shameful thing about Steal This Computer Book 2 is that its title rips off Abbie Hoffman's Steal This Book, a 1970 how-to guide for anarchists and happy freeloaders. Where Hoffman strives in his book to subvert a society that he finds repellent, Wallace Wang merely describes some technologies and a few vaguely interesting stories about them. Some better choices: read Hacking Exposed, Second Edition for its excellent coverage of hackers' techniques and software tools, and Network Intrusion Detection for its accounts of attacks on secured networks. And, for an account of government surveillance of Internet users--perhaps an indication that the system needs subversion now more than ever--read The Puzzle Palace. --David Wall Topics covered: Naughty things to do with computers and on the Internet. The author explores research sites with which you can dig up information on people, and explains something about gaining access to private computing resources. Historical exploits of black-hat hackers get considerable attention, and viruses get lots of attention.
||No Starch Press
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Don't go online without this book!
Posted by Todd Hawley on 12/1/2000
Reading through this book, I was somewhat amazed at the amount of things that go on in the online world, a lot of which people don't really talk about. And I was also glad I now knew more about it and knew what I could do to protect myself against some of it. While there are those that might be aghast that some of the information in this book is here (phone phreaking or "hacking somone's password," for example), I for one am glad it is here. I certainly would not ever use this information for malicious purposes and my feeling is the better informed you are about these and other online "borderline activities," the better you can protect yourself against them. I certainly feel much more informed about the so-called "darker side" of the 'net after reading this book.
Among the subjects Wang covers in this book are online censorship, sections about hackers and some of the things they do, lots of information about viruses (even how to write one and keeping your computer from being infected by one), hate groups online, "waging war against spam," and even a chapter on Trojan Horses ("Beware of Geeks Bearing Gifs!" Well, I always try to be). There's also excellent information in the book about buying a computer cheaply and where to find free software, or how to find someone via the 'Net.
If you spend any time at all online, you need to get this book.
Great update to a landmark computer book
Posted by Gary Nesbitt on 10/29/2000
A great update to one of the great computer books--and one book that hackers love to hate. (Check out the reviews of the first edition.)
It's a very readable and very interesting overview of lots of underground hacker topics. The CD is a great addition with a very well-thought out and very complete selection of encryption software, security stuff, and so on. A real eye-opener.
Great read with lots of useful tools.