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Approaching Zero: The Extraordinary Underworld of Hackers, Phreakers, Virus Writers, and Keyboa Criminals [Hardcover]

Paul Mungo , Bryan Clough

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 247 pages
  • Publisher: Random House USA Inc; 1st American Ed edition (31 Dec 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679409386
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679409380
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 14.7 x 2.8 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,062,577 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


A study of the war against computer viruses reveals the world of hackers and other computer criminals and their potentially catastrophic impact.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quaint and Historical 17 Aug 2007
By J. Yasmineh - Published on
This book is well-written, interesting and fairly well-researched for anyone who likes this sort of thing. With the pace that technology advances at, particularly with regards to computers, this 15 year old book has become entirely historical. Absolutely none of the events or technologies are relevant to the present day except in the context of history.

Nevertheless, if you're looking for background info on hacking, phreaking, viruses and other computer security related matters, it's well worth a read. Most of the information could be found in other books written about the same time as this one, however it's still very readable and does provide a comprehensive, though not particularly detailed, gathering of most of the relevant events over the past 30 years. In that regard it's also a good reference if you want to know how hacking and phreaking started, right from the very beginning.

Also, it's a good introduction for the lay person interested in finding out what hacking and phreaking is, and describes things like basic virus writing, boot sector viruses, executable file-based viruses, basic hacker exploits, the original tone-based phreaking methods, etc... However anyone really interested in this stuff would need to continue on learning through to updated information.

It's an old book now; the terminology is quaint both because it's targeted at the lay person and it almost predates the Internet. But it does form an important part of the limited literature available which covers that time period. Also, although it suggests that the doom and gloom scenario touted at the time with regards to technology destroying us all is over-hyped (as we can see in hindsight) the book still indulges in jumping on the hype bandwagon itself to some degree.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating, but disjointed 23 Dec 1997
By S. Whitlock - Published on
This book is a bit scattered, and if you're looking for a novel on computer crime this is not it. However, these real life accounts of hacking are fascinating. The authors did a great job researching these accounts and the result is an intreging book that keeps your interest throughout. It's a nine.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting book 26 April 2000
By Peggy - Published on
The book is amazingly interesting. I believe for a beginner who wants to know some history and have some basic idea of what hacking and virus is, this is the book! The writer also has done a good job on collecting all kinds of examples.
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