Steal This Computer Book: What They Won't Tell You About The Internetby Wallace Wang, Wallace Wang
No matter how secure you think your computer is, it is still vulnerable to a variety of attacks that could steal your data, wreck your files, or even hoodwink you out of thousands of dollars. To help you protect yourself and your computer, Steal This Computer Book guides you through the attacks you face on the Internet and reveals how hackers accomplish their
No matter how secure you think your computer is, it is still vulnerable to a variety of attacks that could steal your data, wreck your files, or even hoodwink you out of thousands of dollars. To help you protect yourself and your computer, Steal This Computer Book guides you through the attacks you face on the Internet and reveals how hackers accomplish their malicious deeds.
- No Starch Press San Francisco, CA
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 7.11(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.95(d)
Read an Excerpt
Excerpt from Chapter 5, Hiding Yourself with Encryption and Anonymity
Anything you store on your computer could be used against you. Write a letter to a pen pal who lives in North Korea, Iran, or Cuba, and you could be suspected of transferring state secrets. Send e-mail to a friend about your current work, and you might be accused of leaking proprietary corporate information. Type personal information in your word processor or address book, and a spy could use this information to blackmail you later.
As long as you assume that everything you type into your computer could be read by both your friends and enemies, you should have no problems exposing any secrets you may have. However, if you prefer to keep information on your computer private, then you have two choices: physically lock up your computer so no one else can use it or use encryption.
Unfortunately, physical deterrents, such as locks and cables, can be defeated by anyone with sufficient time and strength-supplemented by pliers and wire clippers. Once a thief snaps a restraining cable or smashes open the lock on your computer case, you're screwed.
As an alternative to cumbersome cables and locks, use software encryption. Encryption scrambles your data and only your password will unscramble it.
Learning About Encryption
Encryption can be weak or strong, depending on the method used. For example, weak encryption might just substitute one letter for another, such as the letter "A" for the letter "B," the letter "B" for the letter "C," and so on. This type of encryption is considered weak because it's fairly easy for anyone to figure out that the message "Uif IBM dpnqvufs jt tnbsu" really stands for "The HAL computer is smart."
Strong encryption uses more complicated algorithms to encrypt data. Some of the more popular encryption algorithms are the Data Encryption Standard (DES), International Data Encryption Algorithm (IDEA), and Blowfish. Just remember that strong encryption algorithms can only protect your data as long as nobody steals your password. If someone steals your password, strong encryption will be as useless as a bank vault without a lock.
Because the weakest link in encryption is access to your password, two types of password methods have emerged: private-key encryption and public-key encryption.
Meet the Author
Wallace Wang is the author of several best-selling computer books, including My New Mac, My New iPhone, and Steal This Computer Book (all No Starch Press). He is also a successful standup 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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