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Hackers: Crime and the Digital Sublime Paperback – November 5, 1999

ISBN-13: 978-0415180726 ISBN-10: 0415180724
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Editorial Reviews


Hackers is an interesting and accessible account of this relatively new (in terms of its application to the web) phenomenon.

...his European and sociological insight regarding illegal hackers and hacking culture are fascinating.

...I would...highly recommend this book to anyone in the security field. ...Taylor's book is the most extensive and detailed examination of the cracker phenomenon I have ever read.
Information Security

A must-read for anyone who wants to understand the hacking phenomenon that has swept the world..
–Dorothy Denning, Georgetown University

About the Author

Paul Taylor is lecturer in sociology at the University of Salford

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (November 5, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415180724
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415180726
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,988,695 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Tim Jordan on December 10, 1999
Format: Paperback
Taylor's Hackers is anextended and rigorous analyses of hacking as illicit computer intrusion (or cracking as some insist it should be called. Taylor explores in detail the nature of hacking from every angle. His book is based on over 60 in-depth interviews and is written sympathetically, treating hackers as human rather than as pathological teenagers. It is essential reading for anyone interested in Hackers. There are only two extended, academic pieces on hacking, this book and the complementary statistical analysis by John Howard (available at [...] also has the advantage of being accessible and well-written. Perhaps the best way to look at this book is as an encyclopaedia of hacking, because it provides extended quotes from hackers, computer security personnel and interested others (journalists, academics, etc.) on all relevant topics. An excellent piece of work.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 12, 1999
Format: Paperback
Salem revisited
Twenty five years ago when I was starting out in my career as a computer barrister I ran into an elderly Queen's Counsel and got chatting. "I'll have none of your computery Kelman" he replied when I started talking about technology. 'Computery' was a word the QC made up on the spot which exactly matched his way of thinking - computers were magical and "computery" was like sorcery - a black art perpetrated by young dangerous wizards who did not know they place.
Dr Taylor's book takes the reader into this world where the establishment were frightened and yet fascinated by the 'computery', where young immature men (for it was mainly men) sought to use hacking to raise their social prestige and where hysteria and hype created a modern day Salem with show trials on both sides of the Atlantic. But while some of the hackers deserve to be considered young investigative journalists a large number engaged in primitive tribal rituals using their technical abilities in arcane coding for the pursuit of power without responsibility.
Dr Taylor documents this phenomenon and a revealing picture of the late twentieth century "new barbarian" culture (to use a phrase popularised by Professor Ian Angell of the London School of Academics). How society will embrace and extend its power over hackers with share options, main board directorships and new academic posts instead of punitive sanctions is the unwritten text of a latent follow-up volume.
This book on hackers is the first major intellectually rigorous study of this social phenomenon. I can commend it as required reading for anyone who is interested in the way society approaches threats which undermine the pecking order of society.
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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Morledge on March 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is the first serious study I have seen of a generally media sensationalised area. Being straight from the hackers' mouths, the source material gives a more balanced view than those given by previous authors who tend to be overly moralistic and prejudiced in their approach to the subject. True impartiality is on display as well as meticulous research. Well done Dr. Taylor. I found the grammatically ludicrous, error strewn review of Mr. Yamane particularly unhelpful and inaccurate. People in grass houses shouldn't throw stones.
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6 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Shinji Yamane on December 9, 1999
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed many quotes of the media hype on hackers, but I do not agree that this book is ``the first major intellectually rigorous study of hacking'' as another reader reviewed.
Steven Levy's _Hackers_(It had criticized the Weizenbaum's view that the author depended.), Eric Raymond's _Cathedral and the Bazaar_, and _The New Hacker's Dictionary_ by many contributors had already researched and provided exciting resources on the hacker's culture and sociology. I cannot find the reason that they are not so intellectually rigorous. (Though Levy had made some mistakes, he tried to collect the mistakes in later edition.)
The author understand the hacker in the filed of the counter culture, rather than the serious computer development. That's the why the author ignore the both study of _Cathedral and the Bazaar_ and _The New Hacker's Dictionary_. So he failed to cover the hackers' most succeed and international part.
I fond some bibliographic mistakes in this book.
_The Cyberthief and the Samurai_ is by Jeff Goodell, not Godell.
_Wargames_ is the movie in 1983, not in 1989.
As URLs in the reference had already expired(maybe before this book is published), the date information or mirroring service might be helpful.
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