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Preview of Meinel's latest book, Überhacker! continued...

Who Should Use this Book?

I wrote to you a while ago about how to get my parents to accept the fact of their son being a white-hat hacker... You gave me the advice to show them your article in the October (1998) issue of Scientific American (which was a masterpiece, btw) and take it from there. Right after my dad read it ... All was well! Then, by coincidence, my best friend's Win95 box on a vulnerable cable connection was invaded as part of a dumb IRC war he had going on... The intruders... trashed my friend's box by using Back Orifice and then proceeded to mess with the server our business page was on (along with our other e-mail addresses). My parents... are now security paranoid and want me to find out as much as I can about computer security. My Aunt (a Sun Microsystems employee) is getting me an Ultra 5 SPARC workstation for Christmas too! My parents are also buying me a copy of Windows NT and System Commander so I can run Linux too! I'm also going to get a (secure) cable connection to the workstation in my room.

Paradox is on the right track. He understands that the route to a satisfying career -- and self-respect -- is to set up a laboratory network of many operating systems and experiment on it. You should also get a degree in computer science or a related area such as electrical engineering or math. You can acquire theoretical knowledge that will give you an edge over those who learn about breaking into computers from gangs. You will find mentors in college who will help you learn much faster.

Do you wish to waft through the Internet like fog though a forest, going and doing whatever you will? OK, that's at the very least rude, and usually illegal, even if you look but don't touch. This sort of thing is especially frightening to government bureaucrats. What will people like us do with all that power?

There are criminals who already have this kind of power. There are people working for three letter agencies who have this kind of power. Some of my friends do, too. I'm not saying they use it, I'm just saying they could if they wanted to.

I'm counting on you to be like my friends who reveal their secrets in this book, that you are someone who takes pleasure in making the world a better place, and having a few laughs while doing so. Please don't use this knowledge to read your lover's email, kick people off ICQ, or steal a billion dollars.

I'm writing this book because I have faith that you will use it to defend and improve cyberspace. I pray that you will seek to keep it free, to curb the power of the criminal gangs and government forces who are trying to dictate who can use the Internet and what we can do with it.

Bottom line: this book will be your portal into a world that most people don't even suspect exists.

More Introduction --->>

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