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Steal This Computer Book: What They Won't Tell You About The Internet
     

Steal This Computer Book: What They Won't Tell You About The Internet

by Wallace Wang, Wallace Wang
 

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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

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

Chicago Tribune
"A delightfully irresponsible primer."

Jim Coates

Booknews
Explains the hows and whys of many subversive computer activities. While there is information for those wishing to protect themselves from would-be hackers, focus is on the hacker, the disgruntled employee, the rebel with a cause, and the prankster with lots of time on his hands. Those who fall into any of those categories will love this plain-talk guide to using computers and the Internet for mischievous purposes. Discusses areas such as alternate sources of news and information, encryption software, harassing an online service, and writing a computer virus. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
Jim Coates
A delightfully irresponsible primer.
Chicago Tribune
Dwayne Fatherree
If you're smart, and you work on the Internet, you'll get to Steal This Computer Book before that teen-aged computer geek down the block does.
Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Sean Dugan
If this book had a soundtrack, it'd be Lou Reed's 'Walk on the Wild Side.'
Info World
Houston Chronicle
"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."

Houston Chronicle

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781886411210
Publisher:
No Starch Press San Francisco, CA
Publication date:
07/01/1998
Pages:
320
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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