Linux Format censored over 'Learn to Hack' feature

Linux Format censored over 'Learn to Hack' feature

Future's Linux Format magazine has been pulled from the shelves of Barnes & Noble over a controversial 'Learn to Hack' feature.

A controversial hacking how-to in the last issue of Future's Linux Format has led to the magazine being pulled from the shelves of US bookselling giant Barnes & Noble.

Issue 154 of Linux Format magazine had as its cover feature a piece entitled 'Learn to Hack,' walking readers through the use of the Metasploit Framework exploitation toolkit to gain access to computer systems running a variety of operating systems. The article also covered password cracking, network sniffing, and man-in-the-middle attacks over encrypted protocols.

More importantly, the guide also covered how best to protect your systems from the self-same attacks, providing readers with information that the publication hoped would help keep them safe from the ne'er-do-wells inhabiting the seedier sides of the net.

Despite a warning of the illegalities of using any of the information contained within the article to attack systems which you do not own, the cracking tutorial proved too much for Barnes & Noble. The US bookseller pulled all copies of the magazine from shelves, although it's not yet clear whether it did so at the request of its own management or as a response to complaints from an outside agency.

In a response to Barnes & Noble's apparent censorship, Future has elected to put the content of the article online for free, for those who were unable to read it in the magazine. Quoting security guru Bruce Schneier - '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' - the magazine's editors have defended the feature while apologising for those who missed out on the magazine.

The publication has also elected to continue with the planned publication of an pro-privacy tutorial in the latest issue entitled 'Beat the CIA,' in response to government plans in both the UK and US to introduce increasingly intrusive communications monitoring and censorship laws.

Thus far, Barnes & Noble has not indicated whether it will be carrying the latest issue.


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Krikkit 4th May 2012, 11:27 Quote
Brilliant publicity for the mag, I'm half tempted to pick it up now. :p
Eldorado 4th May 2012, 11:37 Quote
Information is power, governments don't like citizens with power!
cookie! nom nom 4th May 2012, 11:42 Quote
Originally Posted by Krikkit
Brilliant publicity for the mag, I'm half tempted to pick it up now. :p

me too. might get it in town today
do_it_anyway 4th May 2012, 11:50 Quote
Yes, censor something in print thats available all over the internet. that will work.

What next? Censoring file trackers?

will_123 4th May 2012, 11:56 Quote
Got that issue. Already knew most it as its what im studying at uni but it was very good issue! Bloody love open source!
Necrow 4th May 2012, 12:20 Quote
All publicity is good publicity, good on em! Now I have to go pick that copy up :)
GuilleAcoustic 4th May 2012, 12:34 Quote
Censoring something that can be find all over the internet ... how stupid. But as mentioned, great publicity !
deathtaker27 4th May 2012, 12:48 Quote
Next news story will be:

Linux format sales increase due to publicty
schmidtbag 4th May 2012, 15:48 Quote
Originally Posted by Eldorado
Information is power, governments don't like citizens with power!

I don't think the government is as worried about being hacked as say a large profitable company like Sony. Anyways, I think it would be funny and ironic if the result of putting the "content of the article online for free" would result in POed customers using that hacking knowledge to hack B&N.

Also, wouldn't it have been easier if B&N just asked if they could cut out the pages explaining how to hack? I'm sure that entire magazine doesn't consist of just hacking.
Gradius 4th May 2012, 17:44 Quote
Got it from nntp (20sec), it's ok but a bit too much, no wonder they wanted to pulled out this one.
Gradius 4th May 2012, 17:46 Quote
Got Beat the CIA too. LOL

CIA = Central of IDIOCY Agency
Guinevere 4th May 2012, 22:27 Quote
Stunt? Did someone say stunt? I'm sure I heard someone say this is just a marketing stunt?


Listen carefully...
Marvin-HHGTTG 4th May 2012, 22:33 Quote
Bought it in Sainsburys tonight - last copy too :D.
jakobfrimmel 5th May 2012, 02:17 Quote
So is that violation of freedom of speech?
thehippoz 5th May 2012, 03:05 Quote
love metasploit.. it is too much to be put into jackass hands- but then again a jackass wouldn't know what to do or how the network is laid out once he got in.. create pivots and work his way to the domain server

I was actually going to do the same thing over a year back.. wrote a batch of tools that does much of what you need to do automatically- was a lot of work.. everyone I talked to said I would end up in court so dropped the idea of selling it along with a hardware package that could blow away anything you can buy.. I'm talking breaking into any wifi from quite a distance, along with a service to break the wpa/wpa2 handshakes.. you could do it even indoors using my home made directional 17db yagi antennas (milled down to a thousands of an inch- computer modeled) paired with the right hardware to get it there, then using metasploit / man in the middle attacks (actually called it micheal jacksons touch lol stayed up weeks coding all the parts in python)

before my pops passed he told me he was proud of that decision, my sister told me the moral implications but I was so caught up in the money end of it wasn't seeing strait.. no amount of money can rub away having people hurt financially because their bank account/paypal/cc was hacked by an idiot using my tools (I mean the main clients would be criminals- they would be very interested in this sort of thing).. it's not that it's really hard- because the ideas are already there, but making it easy for the semi coherent long stretches is something that should be avoided..

see criminals are well dumb- that's why they are criminals.. they can't hack it in the real world so they do things the easy way (fleece johnson).. if you leave in the monkey wrench- most will just give up and move onto something they can understand.. think most in the security field would agree with me on this- we don't need step by step instructions on how to break into rigs
Andy Mc 5th May 2012, 15:57 Quote
Typical over reaction due to the use of the word "hack". I've got that issue somewhere and to be fair it's all pretty basic stuff and very good to know so that it can allow you to better protect your own system(s).
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