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Steal This Computer Book 4.0: What They Won't Tell You About the Internet Paperback – 21 May 2006

3.2 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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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: 17.8 x 2.5 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 225,625 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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.


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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. The book covers the history of hacking from phone phreaking in the days long before the internet and how this style of "mischief" became computer hacking. Topics include viruses, email spam, web censorship, spyware, identity theft and so on.

The main focus is education: to make you aware of what people can do to your computer and how to protect yourself. It provides a good overview of the possible threats to your computer, most of them from online sources, and it provides some details about what you can do to protect against them as well finding/removing threats that already exist. There is a light touch of humour through out so don't be worried about a possible dry/boring read.

There is some technical detail, and a few practical guides, but no advanced how-to guides. The book provides a broad scope but not a lot of depth. Fortunately it also provides refences to other resources that you can follow up with your own research. For someone with no background in computing then there will be a lot of new information, some of that information is dated due to a publication date of 2006, but some of the information was even dated in 06 (eg war dialling). From a perspective of posterity it is nice that the information is there but is essentially useless from a modern perspective where broadband is the norm.
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Format: Paperback
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.
Examples:
*He talks about free E-mail (such as Juno) then totally skips over web based free email (Mailexcite, USA.net, 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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Format: Paperback
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.
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