Security figures prominently in the headlines today. It seems that security is always an issue for someone. The story is always the same. A cracker breaks in, causes some problems, an administrator in the target company catches them, and the company promises to do something about security in the future. Of course, fixing the problem after someone breaks into your system is like putting your seat belt on after an accident. Yes, you can prevent future damage, but your system has already suffered loss.
For the purposes of this book, the term cracker always refers to an individual that’s breaking into a system on an unauthorized basis. This includes any form of illegal activity on the system. On the other hand, a hacker refers ...