This is just a quick note to serve as a warning to anyone who might be considering buying “Stealing the Network: The Complete Series Collector’s Edition” after reading the description on the Elsevier site:
While I was reading the book and preparing my review, I found that the publisher’s description was inaccurate and misleading, emailed a contact at Syngress, and I thought I had verified that it had changed. Either I was mistaken and was only looking at the more-accurate Amazon product description, or the changes on the Elsevier site have been reverted.
Here’s what it looks like right now:
The “Stealing the Network Series” has developed a passionate, cult following which includes more than 30,000 readers. Over 3,000 readers have registered their copies of Stealing on the Syngress Web site. The Stealing book signings at the Black Hat Briefings in Las Vegas have become an annual event, attracting hundreds of readers, who want to meet the authors who serve as the heroes and villains of the series. These are true fans. They want the inside scoop. They want their picture taken with the legend, Kevin Mitnick. They want to know if the elaborate hacks in the stories are actually based on real-life, close-encounters. They want to know it all?.Did Jay Beale base his character on the movie “Real Genius”?…..Does FX ever smile?…How tall is Thor?…Is ?Blah? really Roelof Temmingh? Did the guys from Sensepost really receive death threats in South Africa for ?revealing too much?. But maybe most importantly?..they want to know: How does the story end?
Stealing the Network: The Complete Series Collector’s Edition, Final Chapter, and DVD answers all these questions and more. Not only will longtime fans of the series find out how the story ends in the much anticipated “Final Chapter” (The “Final Chapter” will also be available separately as an E-Only product six months after publication of the Collector’s Edition). They will get much more than this. The collector’s edition also contains author-annotated versions of the entire series: How to Own the Box, How to Own a Continent, How to Own and Identity, and How to Own a Shadow. For the first time, the authors will reveal which of the stories and characters are actually based on fact. The authors will share e-mails they exchanged during the writing of the books….and even a few flames directed at one another! Fans of the series have always been attracted to the “rock stars” of the hacking underground who have contributed to the series over the years including: Dan Kaminsky (Effugas), Fyodor, Tim Mullen (Thor), Johnny Long, Ryan Russell (Blue Boar), Jay Beale, Joe Grand (Kingpin), Jeff Moss, and Kevin Mitnick…just to name a few. Friends and foes alike of the authors scour the internet for information on the authors, and some some have even successfully hacked into their computers and e-mail to find out more about them. Now…they can find out everything they ever wanted to know without risking federal prosecution in Stealing the Network: The Complete Series Collector’s Edition, Final Chapter, and DVD.
In addition to The Final Chapter and the Annotated Complete Series, the fanatics will also receive a DVD containing extended, personal interviews with the primary authors and editors of the series. The DVD also contains digital photographs from exclusive and secretive author dinners and meetings at Black Hat and Defcon.
Long time fans of the series as well as a new generation of hackers will be drawn to this unique collector’s edition either for themselves or as a gift for their favorite hacker.
This is an excellent description of what the book should have been. Unfortunately it’s not the book that you’re ordering. I’m sure the intent was to have all of these features that would make it a must-buy for fans of the series, but it just doesn’t. None of the books in the compilation are “author-annotated”. There is one email shared in the introduction, not the back-and-forth and flames the description claims. There are no photos on the DVD. These are all features that were intended for the book, but did not make the cut (presumably a deadline thing).
What you get:
- A new foreword
- Each book in the series, as it was published, no editing/corrections, bound together
- The final chapter
- A 20-minute DVD that has weird audio issues in some players
- That’s it.
Depending on how much you pay for it, it could be a really good deal if you do not already have the series (which I do like).
I tried to get the publisher to change the misleading description back when I wrote my review, but apparently it didn’t do any good. I’m just posting this to make sure that readers of this site and others that stumble across it googlin’ are informed.