Book Review - The Hacker Diaries - Confessions of Teenage...

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Author: ThePsykoLocation: California PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2003 6:47 am    Post subject: Book Review - The Hacker Diaries - Confessions of Teenage...
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The hacker diaries - Confessions of Teenage Hackers

Author: Dan Verton
Publisher: Osborne Mcgraw - Hill
Book Specifications: Hard Cover, 212 pages
Category: Non-Fiction
Special Discounted Security Forums Price : 7.49 UK GBP - http://www.mcgraw-hill.co.uk/securityforums
ISBN: 0-07-222364-2
Amazon.co.uk: The hacker diaries - Confessions of Teenage Hackers
Amazon.com: The hacker diaries - Confessions of Teenage Hackers




Description

This book chronicles the rise (and sometimes fall) of almost a dozen individuals who found themselves drawn to the Internet underground and eventually making a name for themselves among the "hacker" community.


Introduction

Having myself been involved in the darker areas of the Internet for many years, I felt this book would be a nice break from the loads of technical manuals which have been my only source of reading material. Interestingly, I found myself identifying with some of the common threads that wove through each of the stories, most of which I found fascinating while at the same time somewhat disturbing. Not being a big fan of biographies I had prepared myself for some tedium as I worked my way through the book, but found myself unable to put it down at times and quickly returning to it when I did have to walk away from it.

Since this wasn't a technical book, providing a quick overview isn't quite as simple as listing chapter subjects and their contents, however a brief overview of each story follows:


Chapters

The book has 8 chapters, each focusing on one or two stories, and 3 index sections containing additional information about teenage 'hacking'.

Chapter I: "Genocide": From Columbine to Hacking
Chronicles the birth of the infamous hacking group Genocide 2600, including their brushes with the FBI.

Chapter II: Rebels: Joe Magee and "Noid"
Details how two teens from different lifestyles embarked on similar paths to make their mark on the Underground.

Chapter III: The Hunt for Mafiaboy: Operation Claymore
Tells the story of the infamous Mafiaboy, from how he got started to how he was tracked down and eventually apprehended.

Chapter VI: A Tale of Two Script Kiddies: Pr0metheus and Exploitation
Two angry teens who found a way to release their frustrations with the world around them through website defacements.

Chapter V: World of Hell
Never heard of Cowhead2000? This is his story and how the World of Hell group came to be.

Chapter VI: Cyberchic: Starla Pureheart
When most people think of Teenage Hackers, they picture young males furiously pouding away on their keyboards at all hours of the night. This is the story of one female who defied that conventional thinking and went on to win the Ethical Hacking contest at DefCon - the largest hacker convention worldwide.

Chapter VII: Unlikely White Hat: Willie Gonzalez
The story of one gifted teen who took a different approach and strayed away from the 'darker side', going on to a successful career in Information Security.

Chapter VIII: Tinker, Teenager, Hacker, Spy: The H.D. Moore Story
Yet another brilliant teen who found his knowledge and skills led straight to a knock on his front door. Unlike most unannounced visitors however, this one wasn't to apprehend or question but to offer a job with the Air Forces' intelligence and information warfare program.

Appendixes
A: Two Decades of Teenage Hacking
B: Making Headlines over the Years
C: Hacking on the Web


Style And Detail

Well laid out, with the teens stories tied neatly together by the forward and afterword. Although at first the stories seem to be somewhat unrelated, they all share a common thread which all comes together at the end.


Conclusion

I found the book much more interesting to read than I had expected. Although I didn't personally agree with some of the methods employed by the subjects or their line of thinking, I found myself relating to, and thusly respecting, their fascination with and desire to learn computers from the inside out. A great read for anybody involved in the computer security industry, and a book I wish everybody who has ever viewed teenage hackers as merely angry punk kids with no morals or direction would read.

This book should be mandatory reading for everybody involved in "homeland security".


Security Forums Discount

The publishers Mcgraw Hill have kindly setup a discount section for Security Forums' users. Discounts can be up to 30% off the RRP and postage is free on all orders over 20 in the UK & Central Europe.

http://www.mcgraw-hill.co.uk/securityforums


Rating

Highly Recommended 8 / 10



This review is copyright 2003 by the author and Security-Forums.com, and may not be reproduced in any form in any media without the express permission of the author, or Security-Forums Dot Com.

Author: DarksideLocation: London, UK PostPosted: Wed Aug 04, 2004 1:33 pm    Post subject:
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This gives a nice look into the mindset of the teens that get into hacking. It's a bit weird to read all the horror stories of just a simple 'warning' to a full out right monitoring of an individual. All in all, a good read.

7/10

Author: CyberCowboyLocation: Louisiana PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:58 am    Post subject: Enjoying this Book
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I'm currently in the midst of reading this book and am finding it quite enjoyable. Love reading about real life events and situations versus fiction.

Author: White ScorpionLocation: The Netherlands PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2004 2:22 am    Post subject:
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well, it sounds nice, perhaps, when i have the time, i will get me a copy too...
i always like reading about hacking,social engineering and cracking Smile

Author: ThePsykoLocation: California PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2004 2:38 am    Post subject:
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It was a surprisingly good read. Definitely not a "how to" book, but interesting nonetheless



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