Acorn User1st October 1986
Published in Acorn User #051
Head Start For Hackers
The New Hacker's Handbook
Last year one slim paperback caused quite a stir in the computing fraternity. The Hacker's Handbook provided much-needed information to those micro users equipped with a modem who were wanting a little more excitement than the likes of Prestel and a few bulletin boards could offer.
The author defines 'hacking' as the recreational and educational sport of attempting to make unauthorised entry to computers and to explore what it there. The handbook will not dictate to you how to go about this. That cannot be done as it is an interactive process which changes from machine to machine and even day to day. Instead, the book will point you in a few worthwhile directions and suggest a few methods.
The handbook is a strange blend of the very basic and the quite advanced. In the first chapter, and in the appendices, the fundamentals of communications are covered - all those confusing baud rates, parity bits, duplex, PSS, protocols, and so on are spelt out in detail. In later chapters, the secrets of viewdata and mainframe networks are discussed with an eye to invasion.
It's not just communication over the telephone that is covered. Methods of hacking by radio, and even hacking the telephone system itself, are revealed.
The whole subject of hacking has received some notoriety in the year since the first edition, with countless newspaper stories and films suggesting that hacking is an easy business requiring only a micro, a modem, and a book such as this. The truth is that you have to be long-dedicated to this essentially useless pursuit to succeed at all. If you are willing to so dedicate your machine, time and patience, then this book will give you an invaluable head start.