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1337 h4x0r h4ndb00k Paperback – Aug 10 2005

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so, you want to be an elite hacker, huh? Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 16 reviews
31 of 36 people found the following review helpful
Not really sure *who* would benefit from this book... Aug. 26 2005
By Thomas Duff - Published on
Format: Paperback
No, this isn't a malfunctioning keyboard, nor have I decided to join the ranks of kiddie hackers by starting to use "elite" language. It's the title of a new book by Sams... l337 h4xor handbook by tapeworm. For those of you not into "l337", that translates to "Elite Hacker Handbook". Having gotten *that* piece of information out of the way, I can get on to the review. And my review is that I really don't know what group this author is trying to target, and I think it fails regardless...

Content: fitting in; shortcuts; customize; browsing/e-mail; fundamentals; get the f@*! out of my chat room!; advanced automation; paranoia; networks; beyond windows; conclusion

I wanted to like this book based on the title. Sort of a gritty view of the hacker underworld, revealing "secrets" not commonly written of. What we get instead is a book that can't decide what it wants to be. People who are new to computers or confused by jargon (one of the targets from the back cover) won't see much useable info here. If you're new to computers, the whole "elite" form of typing and word creation will be lost on you, and you'll wonder what the (#@# this person is trying to tell you. If you already know enough to understand the type of style the author is trying to use, then you'll find most of the information far too basic. Desktop overviews? Running defragger? This isn't news, folks...

Parts of the book try to go into basic HTML coding and scripting languages. Again, if you don't know this stuff, this book isn't going to appeal to you in the first place. If the book appeals to you, you already know this stuff. "Advanced Automation" gets into more scripting, but again, not at a level which is going to advance the knowledge base of someone who already understands it. It seemed that with every chapter, the content was at odds with the style and tone of the book, thereby missing the target regardless of what side he chose...

The whole "l337" format really started to annoy me big time after the first chapter. I admit to not having much tolerance for that anyway. There were some cute phrases and humorous lines in places, but not enough to make me want to recommend it to anyone. I can't even recommend it as a parody of hacker culture, because I think the author is really trying to convey useful info. I just don't think the audience that would find it useful would read the book, and those who would read the book won't find it useful.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Elementary at best March 22 2006
By Pinball Wizard - Published on
Format: Paperback
If you know absolutely nothing about hacking then you might find something interesting here. Elementary level, elementary writing, elementary information. Time and again when I thought I was about to learn something the author made an abrupt redirection and took off in another direction.

5 stars for the covers; 1 star for what is between them.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Well Done Oct. 19 2005
By Vacendak - Published on
Format: Paperback
Tapeworm's book does exactly what it is supposed to do. Teach newbies about computers and hacking. Hacking as defined here [...] . It's a great starting point for newbies who are tired of hearing RTFM. This is the FM. After reading this book you can take the knowledge he gives you as far as you want. He even provides the code from the book and some extras on his site. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn about how their comuters work and fun pranks to play on them and I will the next time someone asks me to teach them how to hack. I would love to see more from him.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
People, this book is SATIRE. Sept. 11 2007
By Security Nerd - Published on
Format: Paperback
To people trying to critique this book on technical merits: The book is 100% satire!

The author is poking fun at both the whole script-kiddie culture and at YOU, the reader who actually thought the book was serious.

So take the book for what it's worth - a silly bit of technical satire that is about getting a chuckle more than actually imparting any real wisdom.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
What a dissappointment March 8 2006
By Eztigma - Published on
Format: Paperback
Obviously, I wasn't expecting the book to tell me all about security and the hacker subculture. Although it is rather funny at times, it seems to me as a very basic Windows XP manual, just explaining how to customize the desktop and making other people believe you are überskilled while playing pranks on th3m.

I didn't expect it to be a Linux manual, either, but I don't buy the idea of using Windows (or any other propietary OS) as a hacking platform. Maybe it will be useful for you if you've just bought your first computer and are interested in being more than a simple user, but for the experienced guy, think it twice before buying.

Check the author's website before making any decision: [...]