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Steal This Computer Book 4.0: What They Won't Tell You About the Internet [Paperback]

Wallace Wang
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

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Book Description

21 May 2006

National bestseller with over 175,000 copies sold!

If you thought hacking was just about mischief-makers hunched over computers in the basement, think again. As seasoned author Wallace Wang explains, hacking can also mean questioning the status quo, looking for your own truths, and never accepting at face value anything authorities say or do.

The completely revised fourth edition of this offbeat, non-technical book examines what hackers do, how they do it, and how you can protect yourself. Written in the same informative, irreverent, and entertaining style that made the first three editions hugely successful, Steal This Computer Book 4.0 will expand your mind and raise your eyebrows. New chapters discuss the hacker mentality, social engineering and lock picking, exploiting P2P file-sharing networks, and how people manipulate search engines and pop-up ads to obtain and use personal information. Wang also takes issue with the media for "hacking" the news and presenting the public with self-serving stories of questionable accuracy. Inside, you'll discover:

  • How to manage and fight spam and spyware
  • How Trojan horse programs and rootkits work, and how to defend against them
  • How hackers steal software and defeat copy-protection mechanisms
  • How to tell if your machine is being attacked and what you can do to protect it
  • Where the hackers are, how they probe a target and sneak into a computer, and what they do once they get inside
  • How corporations use hacker techniques to infect your computer and invade your privacy
  • How you can lock down your computer to protect your data and your personal information using free programs included on the book's CDIf you ve ever logged onto a website, conducted an online transaction, sent or received email, used a networked computer, or even watched the evening news, you may have already been tricked, tracked, hacked, and manipulated. As the saying goes, just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you. And, as Wallace Wang reveals, they probably are.The companion CD contains hundreds of megabytes of 100% FREE hacking and security-related programs, like keyloggers, spyware stoppers, port blockers, IP scanners, Trojan horse detectors, and much, much more. CD compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux.

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    Product details

    • Paperback: 376 pages
    • Publisher: No Starch Press; 4 edition (21 May 2006)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 1593271050
    • ISBN-13: 978-1593271053
    • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 17.6 x 22.4 cm
    • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
    • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,156,018 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
    • See Complete Table of Contents

    More About the Author

    I may be the only computer book author who hates computers. I love what computers can do but I hate the fact that they're so complicated, hard to use, unreliable, and downright troublesome. Besides writing computer books, I also enjoy performing stand-up comedy just to do something creative that involves human beings as opposed to machines.

    Product Description

    About the Author

    Best-selling computer book author Wallace Wang (The Book of Nero 6, Steal This File Sharing Book, both No Starch Press, and Visual Basic 6 for Dummies), is a former contributor to Boardwatch Magazine, where he wrote a monthly column called "Notes From the Underground." He is a successful stand-up comic who has appeared on A&E's "Evening at the Improv" and appears regularly at the Riviera Comedy Club in Las Vegas.

    Inside This Book (Learn More)
    First Sentence
    Hackers are no more criminals than lawyers, politicians, or TV evangelists are. Read the first page
    Explore More
    Browse Sample Pages
    Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
    By A Customer
    Overall this is a good book. The first part is sorta stupid, though. It talks mainly about how not to only listen to one person but to get information from multiple sources. It could be summed up in about a page.
    Chapter 4 talks about buying computers and software. It helped me out by giving me some tricks to do next time I buy a computer.
    Chapter 5 tells you about keeping your files secure with encryption. It tells you about some different types of encryption algorithms and how to write your own encryption programs. It also shows you how to play some dirty tricks. It talked about using anonymous remailers to send anonymous email and talked about just how anonymous they were. It even told you how to surf the web anonymously so that people couldn't receive information about your computer, browser, and more.
    Chapter 6 told about phone phreaking history such as captian crunch. Wallace then goes on by telling you possibly things that could've happened but didn't. When telling these stories he tries to make himself sound like a phreaker but he didn't even do anything. Then, he tells your some really obvious stuff like "To start phone phreaking, you need access to a telephone." and "phreaking from your own phone will let the telephone company trace it to your house." I don't know if he couldn't think of anything else or he thinks you are really stupid. After that, he talks about phreaking color boxes and then goes on to voice mail hacking. Then, he talks about cellular phone fraud and tv satellite descrambling.
    Chapter 7 talks about defeating windoz 3.1/95/98 screen saver passwords which if you ever tried you should've done it on the first or second try.
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    By A Customer
    Network underground geeks are an arrogant bunch.
    Wally takes an exception to the rule here and offers an insider's survey of what these geeks do at night. He reveals enough material to get someone in trouble and offers a few opinions that are misinformed (e.g., Eastern block programmers wrote viruses as an outlet for being underpaid.)
    All in all, I was very excited when I read about this book and who had written it, having read many of Wally's articles in BoardWatch magazine.
    A lot of the stuff is old hat to geeks that have been lurking the underground themselves, but most people would have to search out this dark side for years to gain this kind of sweeping information of what goes on. Specific programs and sites are listed again and again that point to anything on the dark side that you care to find.
    I commend Mr. Wallace for being gutsy enough and kind enough to the general public to publish a book such as this while withholding just (barely) enough information to keep malicious newbies slightly at bay (e.g. most newbies aren't going to be writing their own encrytion algorythms in spite of Wally's "It's easy" approach.)
    I say, if this topic interests you or if you want a solid introduction into "How to be a Bad guy on the Web", then buy the book!
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    1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but needs more 'geek' detail 21 July 1999
    By A Customer
    I found this book to be worth my money, and a little more. It explained basic security on the net and takes a nice cynical look at the gov. on the net. But, this book lacks some details, big ones actually, such as details on L0phtCrack, Tripwire and other such 'security' programs. I would recommend this book to a novice looking for a place to start. For inter.-advanced users I would suggest something else.
    Comment | 
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    4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
    By A Customer
    I would love to say that this was an excellent, well written guide to the internet.
    Unfortunately, after just the first two chapters (at which point I gave up and returned the book), it became obvious that the writer (who appears to have excellent credentials including writing for BOARDWATCH magazine) just threw this together with no thought whatsoever.
    *He talks about free E-mail (such as Juno) then totally skips over web based free email (Mailexcite,, Yahoo, etc) when talking about accessing e-mail from cyber cafes and the like. In fact, he states on pages 64-65 that receiving e-mail at cyber cafes is not possible!
    And this book was (allegedly) written in June '98 at the height of the spree to put these free e-mail sites up.
    *Mo mention of access to the web via the public library system (though local freenets are mentioned).
    *A discussion on obtaining upgrades of software by trading in old versions (obtained from outlets that specialize in outdated versions) plus a modest charge failed to point out that those outdated versions may be more than adequate for the user on a budget (I'm still running some DOS programs for cryin' out loud).
    Finally, I tried to contact the author and found that there is no e-mail address in the book.
    A usenet search (dejanews) using his name ironically came back with a similar recent complaint from some people who wanted to complain about a recent BOARDWATCH article. I at least have the guts to take any flames/spam for =my= comments...
    It was obvious that this was thrown together in hours for a fast buck. Unfortunate, because a well written book of this type is needed.
    So save your bucks. This book is a dog.
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    5.0 out of 5 stars Steal this computer
    An eye-opener into what happens on the internet. Didn't know what half of the stuff meant-but I'll learn by re-reading it a few times.
    Published 13 months ago by alan murray
    4.0 out of 5 stars Amusing, interesting, education (4th Edition, 2006)
    From what I can tell I've read the most recent version of this book (4th edition, 2006) but Amazon seems to stack the reviews for each edition altogether. Read more
    Published 23 months ago by Edward A. Thomson
    4.0 out of 5 stars Non-biased approach for beginners...
    I found this book to be pretty easy to get into, with a lot of things I didn't know about (I'm a newbie). Read more
    Published on 25 Aug 1999
    1.0 out of 5 stars Fact checking needed
    The book needed more fact checking, as there were several inaccuracies when discussing aspects of the computer underground. Lacking in details of true underground information. Read more
    Published on 23 Aug 1999
    3.0 out of 5 stars Good for newbies, but not for the well-seasoned.
    "Steal This Computer Book" is a good introduction to the existence of the dark side of computing, but there's not a whole lot here for the advanced user. Read more
    Published on 26 July 1999
    2.0 out of 5 stars Not Bad for newbies
    If you're a newbies in hacking, this book cover almost everything but it's not in detail.
    Published on 20 July 1999
    5.0 out of 5 stars the best book about the internet....EVER!!!!
    this book is great,it is written by a stand up comic so it does have humor unlike those serious bill gates books that everyone hates...... Read more
    Published on 20 July 1999
    1.0 out of 5 stars a useless book
    Thier is no real useful information. The whole book is outdated now. Their was no real content, just a huge listing of websites that are not even their anymore.
    Published on 2 July 1999
    1.0 out of 5 stars BAD BAD BAD book
    BAAAD Book. This book is about how to hack computer. This guy, Wallace Wang, managed to write 340 pages and yet said nothing. Read more
    Published on 15 Jun 1999
    4.0 out of 5 stars Great For A Beginner
    This book is a must for newbies. It's easy to understand and it's not very technical. The topics discussed in this book are very broad and it doesn't go into details. Read more
    Published on 13 Jun 1999
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