Learn to Hack pulled from Barnes and Noble


We've just learned that issue 154 of Linux Format, the one with 'Learn to Hack' on the cover, was removed from Barnes and Noble bookstores in the US after a complaint was made. We'd like to apologise if you were affected and couldn't find a copy.

As a reminder, we’ve put the contents of the main feature online: http://www.tuxradar.com/content/learn-hack

Here's a quote from Bruce Schneier's Crypto-Gram Newsletter from August 2003 where he announces his book 'Beyond Fear', and explains why demystifying security is so important:

“This is a book for everyone. I believe that security, as a topic, is something we all can understand. And even more importantly, I believe that the subject is just too critical, too integral a part of our everyday lives, to be left exclusively in the hands of experts. By demystifying security, I hope to encourage all of us to think more sensibly about the topic, to contribute to what should be an open and informed public discussion of security, and to participate vocally in ongoing security negotiations in our civic, professional, and personal lives.”

We feel exactly the same, which is why we ran that feature.

If you want the whole issue of Linux Format, and get more great content from the team, Linux Format is available on both Apple's iPhone/iPad/Touch and Android devices through Zinio. You can also purchase individual copies from the Ubuntu Software Centre.

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Your comments


This is "security by obscurity" surely? Well done for making the article available online though! The greatest threat to security is ignorance/complacency. By learning the "tricks of the trade" we learn to protect our systems.

Compare this to home security. One way to defend against intrusion is to imagine yourself locked out of your house. How would you gain entry? The easier it is for you, the easier it would be for an intruder. Over the years we've learned about the use of credit cards to force some locks or the perils of leaving keys in view of the letterbox etc.

For B&N to withdraw the magazine on the basis of a complaint (just one?) is nonsensical.


Maybe it was pulled because you used "hack" and not "crack"? :-)

Just wait 'til they see

Just wait 'til they see "Beat the CIA". I have terrible visions of your all being seized while slumped drunkenly in the pub in Bath, & subjected to irregular rendition to some Supermax prison in the US ...

I wonder what did the

I wonder what did the complaint say.

@Some Dude or Something & mutant albino penguin

Quite probably and absolutely in that order! LOL.

Don't they still carry 2600 Mag?

Hmm - last time I checked, B&N carries 2600 Magazine... Kinda strange to wake up and smell the hack guide now.

Oddly good publicity

Well, at least it got the magazine all over Slashdot. Here's to hoping for an increase in subscriptions.

Strange..I bought this issue

Strange..I bought this issue and subsequent ones at B&N. I wonder if it was just a handful of stores? It's been in every store I checked in the past few weeks...

I wonder...

I wonder if they read it before they banned it?
Probably not, but then, would they have understood it?

Sticking it to B&N FTW

@Ray Woods
"I wonder if they read it before they banned it?"
Obviously you don't live in the US. We ban things with reckless abandon here. Sad but true.

Kudos to the LXF team for putting it online, if B&N wants to ban it, we'll read it anyway, they just won't make money.

Banned books

Who else in history banned books? Also doesn't barnes sell the 2600 aka the hackers quarterly!

Amazon Wins

Just got my spring issue of 2600 Quarterly on my kindle. Go Amazon!


As pointed out on /. B&N sells Mein Kaumpf. They also sell 2600.

Considering this happened just after MS made a deal and that Linux Format is a Linux magazine, one has to wonder.

Still think MS is cool?

Land of the Free

"I wonder if they read it before they banned it?"
Obviously you don't live in the US. We ban things with reckless abandon here. Sad but true.

Ah yes; the land of the Free... Sad!

Boycott Barnes and Noble

I'm going to boycott Barnes and Noble. I suspect I will not be the only one.

Like pulling a playboy off the shelf of an adult book store.

Ok, maybe not exactly like it, but how many books have they sold since they have been in business that are solely about penetration testing, wireless hacking, exploits, rootkits, etc... etc... etc...
Now they remove a magazine with one article about hacking? I personally learned quite a bit about securing my computers by tinkering around with things like this.
You can read and read and read about the importance of security, and basic measures to keep your computer/network safe. But if you have never experienced it, seen how it works, and get an idea of what someone might try to bypass your security measures you will always be several steps behind any potential attacker.
Besides that, its an interesting and fun way to learn something for people with ADD like me that have difficulty sitting through large volumes of text

Homeland Cowboys

Just, out of curiosity anybody know how many unsecured "not locked down" servers the Dept of Defence has still exposed to the net?'
My government just keeps the gravy train secrets under lockdown.
(Every pun, sarcasm, 'bettween the lines' intended)

Land of the free

@Ray Woods
Really, is anyone still considering the US as "the land of the free?

As for hacking b&n...

Stupid ass-hats...and that's why they're sinking fast.

Oh, and thanks for ruining my tab with your bloatware, you bastards. ('scool, I HACKED that crap).


if you are having trouble getting hold of a mag you want thats been banned from one store, perhaps hacking isnt for you?

im sure they love the free publicity though.

Next target: Issue 158

I guess the CIA or some other American agency don't want rivalry in hacking other computers. I'm guessing that Issue 158 might be the next to be censored thanks to its front cover.

Seriously we always say

Seriously we always say China restrict on stuff and call them communist this and that. What are the difference between China and America? - Well, we scream and yell and make a big fuzz of it.

A stupid choice of title

It was a stupid choice of title, and "Beat the CIA" is just as bad. Demystifying security is an excellent objective, but muddying the hack/crack term even further and explaining "how to be evil" does not do anyone any favours.

Censorship yay!

service@barnesandnoble.com is where to send requests for more censorship. Now that we know B&N are open to censorship of literature that some find undesirable. Let's help them clean up their catalog!

Still Available?

Last time I checked, it was not yet pulled from The Pirate Bay!

I know I know

Most likely you violated Mikes evil master plan to rule the world by Mike-OS by showing how to hack his OS....

Hahaha there you have it your insider knowledge...

Visiting the USA

I hope everyone at LXF that intended to visit the US has done it by now?

I would avoid it from now on...you never know :)

And I would avoid Canada as well. They have a tendency to extradite potential "criminal" to US as and when requested ;)

Only on a very short list of offences

And I would avoid Canada as well. They have a tendency to extradite potential "criminal" to US as and when requested ;)

And really just the current neo-con gov getting to be time to toss them but they have a majority for another 3 years :(

Enjoy the Choice :)

Sheds & Ignoble

"Considering this happened just after MS made a deal..."

I thought something similar on reading the headline. So much for Microsoft taking the OEMs down with them, they seem intent on taking a barne-load of other companies down too.

Of course, Hanlon's Razor might apply here: B&N's management might just be feeling twitchy after their recent U-turn, and quick to respond to any complaint to show that yes, they really are listening to their customers, honest!

Here's hoping Team LXF don't fall foul of the UK's wonderfully fair and balanced extradition treaty with the US.

I looked EVERYWHERE for this

I looked EVERYWHERE for this issue and only got 153 & 155 from the news agents; won't shop there again and will merely subscribe direct.

There is a way to hack this.

Security is NOT a product, its a process!!!!

Red Sole Shoes

Krista Ki #file_links<D>\keywords5.txt,1,S] {ng|onal} {will help|can help|may help|might help|will assist|should help|helps|can certainly help|can assist|will assist to|will help you to} {lead|guide|direct|steer|cause|head|contribute|result|live|point|encourage} Kellenberg {as the|because the|since the|because|as being the|for the reason that|when the|given that the|being the|while the|to be the} Firebirds {defend|protect|guard|shield|secure|fight for|safeguard|preserve|look after|maintain|fight} {their|their own|their particular|his or her|the|its|their very own|ones own|his or her's|his / her|your} CHSAA {state|condition|express|point out|talk about|declare|think|status|say|claim|assert} {championship|tournament|world-class|title|champion|great|shining|finals}. {The|The actual|The particular|Your|This|A|Any|Typically the|All the|That|All of the} {junior|jr .|jr|senior|freshman|younger|youngster|frosh|sr|soph|sophmore} {second|2nd|next|subsequent|minute|secondly|following|moment|further|secondary|instant} baseman {leads|prospects|qualified prospects|sales opportunities|potential customers|brings|turns|points|directs|takes|business leads} {off|away|away from|off of|down|out of|out|from|apart|shut off|right off} {and has|and it has|and contains|and possesses|and has now|possesses|and features|and also has|as well as|and allows|and he has} {plenty of|lots of|a lot of|a good amount of|an abundance of|loads of|ample|a great deal of|enough|numerous|quite a lot of} {help in|assist in|aid in|help out with|assistance in|assistance with|support in|support|help with|help|assistance} {the middle|the center|the guts|the very center} #file_links<D>\keywords3.txt,1,S] {of the|from the|with the|in the|on the|of your|within the|belonging to the|for the|of this|of one's} {order|purchase|buy|get|obtain|sequence|structure|arrangement|request|choose|invest in}, {led|brought|directed|guided|brought about|encouraged|contributed|headed|driven|inspired|xmas trees} {by|through|simply by|by simply|by means of|by way of|by just|as a result of|from|just by|with} {senior|older|mature|elderly|senior citizen|person|more mature|resident|man or woman|individual|older person} shortstop {Amanda|Amanda-m|Amanda-b} Crimarco {and|as well as|and also|along with|in addition to|plus|together with|and even|not to mention|and additionally|and then} All-League {third|3rd|next|3 rd|finally|lastly|thirdly|1 / 3|last|other|additionally} baseman Stephanie Staiano."Basically, #file_links<D>\keywords2.txt,1, #file_links<D>\keywords1.txt,1,S] S] {that's|that is|which is|that is certainly|that may be|that is definitely|this is|that could be|it is|it's|which may be} {my|my personal|my own|our|the|this|my very own|my best|a|your|my favorite} infield,{"|Inch|Inches|In .|In|"|Half inch|Centimeter||Ins|Within} Firebirds {coach|trainer|mentor|instructor|private coach|guru|teacher|train|advisor|fitness instructor|tutor} Ken Conrade {said|stated|mentioned|explained|claimed|reported|proclaimed|says|suggested|pointed out|talked about}. "All {three|3|a few|about three|several|some|a couple of|three or more|two to three|two|four} {are|tend to be|are usually|are generally|usually are|will be|happen to be|are actually|can be|really are|seem to be} standouts. {I think|I believe|I do believe|I do think|I'm sure|There's no doubt that|I feel|It is my opinion|In my opinion|It looks like|I reckon} {they|these people|they will|that they|many people|people|some people|these|individuals|these products|they can} {remain|stay|continue to be|continue being|keep on being|keep|be|continue|are|reside|endure} {hungry|starving|famished|eager|keen|greedy|ravenous|zealous|feeling hungry|hunger|starved}, {but|however|yet|nevertheless|although|nonetheless|however ,|though|and yet|still|but yet}.. #file_links<D>\keywords4.txt,1,S] .

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