A Note to Would-Be Attackers

We've tried to write this book in such a way that it can't be used easily as a "how-to" manual for potential system attackers. Don't buy this book if you are looking for hints on how to break into systems. If you think that breaking into systems is a fun pastime, consider applying your energy and creativity to solving some of the more pressing problems facing us all, rather than creating new problems for overworked computer users and administrators.

The days have long passed when breaking into computers required special skills or intelligence. Now all it requires is downloading scripts from a few web sites and clicking a button. What really takes cleverness is fixing systems so that they are resistant to external attacks. Breaking into someone else's machine to demonstrate a security problem is nasty and destructive, even if all you do is "look around."

The names of systems and accounts in this book are for example purposes only. They are not meant to represent any particular machine or user. We explicitly state that there is no invitation for people to try to break into the authors' or publisher's computers or the systems mentioned in this text. Any such attempts will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, whenever possible. We realize that most of our readers would never even think of behaving this way, so our apologies to you for having to make this point.

    Part VI: Appendixes