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The Hacker Diaries: Confessions of Teenage Hackers (Consumer One-Off) Hardcover – 1 Apr 2002
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The Hacker Diaries is well written, racy and an entertaining read. Dan Verton takes a seat way back in the bus and lets the characters he's writing about drive. These include the hackers themselves--complete with silly sounding nomme de geurres including the most famous of them all: Mafiaboy--along with those whose job it is to hunt them down. He even takes in a few who suffered the hackers' attentions.
Some facts shine out. One: high class teenage hackers usually have a better grasp of Net technologies than those paid to run them, and they're motivated by intellectual curiosity and peer respect rather than criminal or terrorist ends. Two: most "hackers" are script kiddies; vandals who would be slashing car tires or burgling homes if they had more get up and go. Three: technology is more fragile than people like to believe.
Dan Verton does a good job of showing us the people behind the hacking handles and sets the activity in a social as well as technical context, but he sensibly stops short of suggesting solutions. Just as well--Steve Wozniak was a hacker and went on to co-found Apple. Hackers, as The Hacker Diaries show, grow up and move on. --Steve Patient
"Terrorists are strategic actors. They choose their targets deliberately based on the weakness they observe in our defenses and our preparedness. We must defend ourselves against a wide range of means and methods of attack. Terrorists continue to employ conventional means of attack, while at the same time gaining in expertise in less traditional means, such as cyber attacks."See all Product description
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Surprisingly, spotting a hacker in your midst is not as easy as you might think. Many parents out there probably don't even realize that their son or daughter is a card-carrying member of the hacker underground. Read this book to see what I mean. Parents are clueless and some of them just don't care. As Verton points out, many of the parents of these hackers were happy that their kids were "working at the computer" rather than out doing drugs or getting into trouble.
Likewise, if you're a teacher you should also read this book. Almost every hacker whose life is profiled in The Hacker Diaries says that their computer teachers in high school knew next to nothing compared to them. Hacking became a way for many of them to challenge themselves intellectually. Want to help prevent teenagers from getting involved in hacking that could get them in trouble? Then create computer teachers who know more than the students.
This is a definite read for anybody interested in the information age culture that we all live in today. You don't have to be a hacker or a computer whiz to understand what's in this book either. Verton writes like an information age Hemingway.
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