Halting the Hacker: A Book Review

A good primer for people getting their security feet wet.


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Satellite tv technology

Melvyn's picture

Hi. The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it.
I am from Emirates and too poorly know English, tell me right I wrote the following sentence: "Satellite tv, react for market satellite in the added range, which is all known in the philippines."

Best regards :(, Melvyn.

Re: Halting the Hacker: A Book Review

Anonymous's picture

Thomas Edison ! The ultimate hacker ! (Well, maybe Ben Franklin should have that honor). We don't wish to 'halt' (discourage) hacking - ever ! We wish to halt 'cracking'...yep - book should be reissued with new title...

Re: Halting the Hacker: A Book Review

Anonymous's picture

Totally agree with first post...anyone who's even been around free software or opensource software and the good folks working on it and with it for even a short amount of time and had their eyes and ears open would not even give the time of day to a book that used the term 'hacker' in this negative light. How did the reviewer also not take exception to the use of the term ? All hackers I have ever known are law-abiding, caring, intelligent individuals who HELP TO STOP crackers and their activities (the probable target of this book). This author can't have read the available information about hacking in general and in my mind, is completely clueless. Ergo, this book is worthless (begins, by title, from a false premise). I can't trust this author as a 'friend' of free software or in clearly understanding the "Hacker Ethic'.

If you want to "dig in" to information security issues - build yourself a 'foundation' first (BEFORE you go secure that network ! don't 'snap in' that RJ45 until you do !) - try Applied Cryptography (Bruce Schneier), for one. There are other good sources as well. Get Gooleing... Yes, it may be slow reading but, get used to it...information security, at the core, IS difficult to grasp AND implement well. It's a fact of network life at the moment.

Lastly - don't litigate - employ ! Better you nurture/turn a 'cracker' to 'hacker', than create meaningless make-work for lawyers...

The Apollo 13 'rescue' was a very famous 'hack', for a classic example, of what the hacker ethic can do at its very best - SAVE lives ! (not the opposite). Hacking is a 'creative' energy, not a destructive one. Sigh...

Book Price Comparison

Anonymous's picture

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Re: Halting the Hacker: A Book Review

Anonymous's picture


I was the reviewer. I did not take exception to the term hacker for a very simple reason. Most people don't bother to make the that particular distinction any longer. You are 100% correct that there is a difference between hacker and cracker, but most people (including the author, apparently) don't know the difference, nor do they particularly care to learn of the difference. The purpose of the review wasn't to educate the teeming masses or engage in a philosophical debate, it was to advise the reader of the strengths and weaknesses of the book itself.

Ron Powell

Re: Halting the Hacker: A Book Review

Anonymous's picture


hacker != cracker

hacker = Linus Torvalds, Alan Cox, etc.
cracker = bad guys on internet


ESR: http://catb.org/~esr/faqs/hacker-howto.html

The right title:

Halting the Cracker: A Book Review


Re: Halting the Hacker: A Book Review

Anonymous's picture

Halting the Cracker

For some reason this brings to mind the phrase "Stop right there, Whitey."