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If ever a book on cyberculture wore a fedora and trench coat and leaned against a lamppost on a foggy street, this is the one. It is an unabashed look at the dark side of the Net--the stuff many other books gloss over. It's hard-edged, wisecracking, and often quite cynical as it pours over the reality of online scams, illegal activities, and simple annoyances.
Wang's stated goal is to open the reader's eyes about what's really there. He shows what's being done, how it's being done, and how to avoid problems or even strike back. He begins with a chapter about the news media, and his message is that no source is to be trusted completely. He examines issues important to Internet users: the cost of getting computerized (with tips on how to find the real bargains), who is using the Internet as a source of hate information, and how your privacy can be invaded and protected.
He shows you the secrets of malicious hackers and others and how some of them attack computer systems without the ethical mindset typical of the original, idealistic hackers. Wang shows you how you can set up your defenses against such an onslaught, discussing how to protect yourself and your kids from online stalkers and how online con games work.
Wang never claims that the Internet is the electronic den of darkness that the pop media make it out to be. But he makes it clear that something this big has its lowlights--it's own "net noir." His messages are "know your enemy" and "be careful who you trust," an ideology verified by the examples he provides. --Elizabeth Lewis --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
...an intriguing book that outlines many of the secrets of hackers scammers, spammers and others....If you are a frequent user of the Internet you won't be able to put this book down. Steal This Computer Book is immediately fascinating and alarming. -- The Tampa Tribune, August 1998
If you're smart, and you work on the Internet, you'll get [Steal This Computer Book] before that teen-aged computer geek down the block does....If you, as a citizen of the Internet, are going to walk these electronic streets alone, then you had better be armed. -- Sarasota Herald Tribune, August 1998
This book is not going to make a lot of people very happy--and it's going to make a lot of others very nervous....It tells you how hackers, phone phreakers and other online misfits wreak the havoc they cause--and fives you enough information to let you do so yourself -- Houston Chronicle, August 1998
When it comes to computer security, Steal this Computer Book: What They Won't Tell You About the Internet reminds us that sometimes the best defense is a good offense. -- Midwest Book Review, September 1998 --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.