HACKING: A BEGINNER’S GUIDE by JOHN STARK

2.5 or 5.0

 

The bottom line: Common sense masquerades as advice in this anemic booklet.

 

 

I bought this book out of curiosity in order to get a basic idea on how I can learn to hack for everyday, ethical, and practical purposes. After reading this book, I do have a list of some basic links and resources I can access, but I am still in the dark about many of the technicalities behind hacking.

Contrary to what the book claims, Hacking is not a “comprehensive guide to hacking,” and common sense validates this considering this book is less than 40 pages.

Hacking first provides a brief description of the two types of hackers (white-hat and black-hat). It then details penetration testing and gives “advice” that essentially amounts to what you already know.

This is one area where the book is deficient in that many of its prescriptions aren’t price-worthy.

For example, the author writes that before you begin, “hacking requires you to create and execute plans,” “if you don’t know which tools to use, you may ask other people,” and in order to gather information about your target, do a Google search and look on social media.

In other areas where Hacking does provide targeted advice (e.g. Scanning the target), it tends to use technical language without explaining exactly what it all means to laypeople.

This was an expectation I had for a book designed for beginners. Hence, the book described what to do yet I had no idea of what the author was talking about.

Chapter 3 (“The Most Popular Hacking Tricks”) is likely the most disappointing because it tells you things like you can steal someone else’s password by peering over their shoulder while they type and a “counter-measure” is to look around and make sure no one is looking while you’re at your workstation. Further advice on password-cracking includes guessing from inference.

For a list price of 2.99, I can’t be overly upset over the disappointment found in this book. Ultimately, for the dissatisfaction you’ll only lose a couple of bucks and about 30 minutes of your time.

Dr. C. H. E. Sadaphal

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