9781886411425 / 1886411425

Steal This Computer Book 2: What They Won't Tell You About the Internet


Publisher:No Starch Press



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About the book:

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.

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