Notes from Steal This Computer Book 3

December 14, 2007 at 1:47 pm Leave a comment

Notes from Steal This Computer Book, Wallace Wang, 3rd edition

In many ways, this book provides an outline for basic literacy for Internet users.  Reading this at the same time I read The Cuckoo’s Egg was interesting – in the story, Stoll questions why no one is being told about all the flaws, and holes, and pitfalls on the Internet.  Here, Wang explicitly describes what-hackers-do and what you need to do to protect yourself….or it gives a recipe book to follow.

Table of Contents (from B&N)

Pt. 1 Information Overload (Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics) 

1 Finding what you Need: The Magic of Search Engines 
2 Alternative Sources of News and Information 
3 Censoring Information (We Know what’s Best for you) 
4 Hacktivism: Online Activism 
5 Pledging Allegiance: Hatred as Patriotism 
6 Where the Hackers arePt. 2 Dangerous Threats on the Internet 
7 Viruses and Worms 
8 Trojan Horses: Beware of Geeks Bearing Gifts 
9 Con Games on the Internet 
10 Online Stalkers 

Pt. 3 Breaking and Entering Computers 
11 Probing a Target 
12 Sneaking into a Computer 
13 Digging in 

Pt. 4 Protecting Yourself 
14 Computing on a Shoestring 
15 Protecting your Data and your Privacy 
16 Waging War on Spam 
17 Web Bugs, Adware, Pop-Ups, and Spyware 

Pt. 5 Protecting your Computer 
18 Firewalls, Intrusion-Detection Systems, and Honeypots 
19 Computer Forensics: Recovering and Deleting Data 
20 Protecting your Computer 

A.    Software 
B.    A Hacker’s Gallery of Rogue Tools 
C.   A Bit of History: Phone Phreaking and Other Phun 
D.   Glossary 


The dedication “This book is dedicated to truth, justice, honesty, and the American Way-which are too often mutually exclusive ideas.”

P31 accessing banned websites by email using a webmail server, for example,

P39 Banned books online, Project Gutenberg

P43 In case you have information that your government doesn’t want anyone to see,; online activism cypherpunks

P58 Anti-Christian  websites

P61 “Idealism is what precedes experience; cynicism is what follows” David T. Wolf

P62 Sites:

Hacker sites

Security sites

Hacker zines

Hacker search engines

P114 Other piece of Information Literacy:

  • how to avoid online auction frauds
  • Fallacy of internet malls
  • Urban legends

P130 Suggestions for dealing with online stalking, for example: “send them exactly one message asking them to stop. A firm short message…if harassment continues, do not reply….the minute you stop responding in any way they’ll get bored and look for easier prey?

P136 Probing a target, war-dialing, e.g. wdial200; port scanning, e.g NetScantools, Nessus, iNettools, Saint, Sara, Satan, Nmap

P148,9 social engineering discussed [mind trail to Mitnick’s book], keystroke loggers, keyghost, hardware keylogger, keycatcher,

P174 refurbished computers,,, , , , , , , , ,, ; auctions: , , , ; recycled computers, , , , ; build it,, , ,

P182 XPKeyGen program claims it can create valid codes for windows xp

P184 To crack Windows software you need:

Crackproof your software, Pavol Cerven

P191 encryption,; cryptogram newsletter; magic folders

P193 steganography camera/shy; cryptography A-Z,

P200 anonymous browsing,,,;

P201 remailers

P203 Private Idaho,

P220 ascii code equivalents for characters,

P246 to see IP locations on a world map. It’s not a webapp though.

P249 A quote from US patent 4666425 “This invention involves a device, referred to herein as a “cabinet,” which provides physical and biochemical support for an animal’s head which has been “discorporated” (i.e., severed from its body).”  Wow.

Computer forensics tools:

P250 File Undeleting utilites Norton Utilities; Active@Undelete; Restorer2000; Undelete

P255 Browser cache viewer ,

P256 Hex editors, Hex Workshop,, Ultraedit; VEDIT,

P258 Free forensics tools,

P260 “…So how can you protect your computer from their prying eyes?  Basically, you can’t….experiment with some of the free or commercial forensics tools to recover data on your computer, or see what you can find on other people’s computers.  Try secretly examining a coworker’s computer.  You might learn how to better protect your own data.”


The appendices have a lot of good links and information, and I was hoping this would be sitting on the website.  But no.


Entry filed under: information literacy.

Notes from The Cuckoo’s Egg, Clifford Stoll Stuff from Technology Review Nov/Dec 2007

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