Hackers and Hacking
A Reference Handbook
by Thomas J. Holt and Bernadette H. Schell
July 2013, 354pp, 6 x 9
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-61069-276-2
$65, £50, 57€, A90
eBook Available: 978-1-61069-277-9
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.
This book provides an in-depth exploration of the phenomenon of hacking from a multidisciplinary perspective that addresses the social and technological aspects of this unique activity as well as its impact.

What defines the social world of hackers? How do individuals utilize hacking techniques against corporations, governments, and the general public? And what motivates them to do so? This book traces the origins of hacking from the 1950s to today and provides an in-depth exploration of the ways in which hackers define themselves, the application of malicious and ethical hacking techniques, and how hackers’ activities are directly tied to the evolution of the technologies we use every day.

Rather than presenting an overly technical discussion of the phenomenon of hacking, this work examines the culture of hackers and the technologies they exploit in an easy-to-understand format. Additionally, the book documents how hacking can be applied to engage in various forms of cybercrime, ranging from the creation of malicious software to the theft of sensitive information and fraud—acts that can have devastating effects upon our modern information society.


  • Documents how computer hacking fits into various forms of cybercrime
  • Describes the subculture of computer hackers and explains how this social world plays an integral role in the business of hacking
  • Clarifies the subtle differences between ethical and malicious hacks
  • Focuses on the non-technical aspects of computer hacking to enable the reader to better understand the actors and their motives
Thomas J. Holt, PhD, is associate professor in the School of Criminal Justice at Michigan State University. He has published over 30 journal articles in various outlets, such as Crime and Delinquency, Deviant Behavior, and the Journal of Criminal Justice. He has also coauthored several books including Crime On-Line: Correlates, Causes, and Context; Digital Crime and Digital Terrorism, Second Edition; and Corporate Hacking and Technology-Driven Crime: Social Dynamics and Implications.

Bernadette H. Schell, PhD, is vice-provost at Laurentian University in Barrie, Ontario, Canada. She was formerly Founding Dean of Business and Information Technology at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. She has written a number of journal articles and coauthored books in the IT security field, including Cybercrime: A Reference Handbook; The Internet and Society: A Reference Handbook; The Hacking of America: Who's Doing It, Why, and How; Webster's New World Hacker Dictionary; and Corporate Hacking and Technology-Driven Crime: Social Dynamics and Implications.


"Hackers and Hacking is a good reference work for novices and enthusiasts who want to gain a better understanding of today's technology-infused world."—Choice, January 1, 2014

"This unique addition to the Contemporary World Issues series enables the nontechie to better comprehend this worldwide issue of cybercrime. . . . A worthwhile addition to the reference collections of high school, academic, and public libraries."—Booklist, October 1, 2013

"This text is well written and timely. Individuals will find the book’s organization and layout to be user-friendly. This text will complement a variety of libraries, including personal and professional libraries.'—ARBA, October 1, 2013

Contemporary World Issues

This award-winning series offers comprehensive, one-volume reference handbooks on important topics related to health, education, the environment, and social and ethical issues.

24-hour cable news. Millions of internet sites. Information overload. How can we sort through the information? Assess the analyses? Trust the sources?

A world of questions demands a library of answers. Contemporary World Issues covers the controversial topics that students, readers, and citizens want to read about, write about, and know more about.


Subject coverage spans six main categories:

  • Criminal Justice
  • Environment
  • Gender and Ethnicity
  • Politics, Law, and Government
  • Science, Technology, and Medicine
  • Society
Each volume offers a rich array of resources:
  • A background and history essay that provides essential context and grounding for further study
  • A balanced summary of ongoing controversies and proposed solutions that show numerous paths for further research on pressing, contemporary questions
  • A forum of authoritative perspective essays by experts, offering a broad spectrum of arguments on the issues
  • Carefully selected annotated documents, tables, and graphs that support statistical literacy and investigation of primary sources
  • A chronology of events, legislation, and movements that place events in sequence and draw connections between them
  • Annotated lists of print, web, and multimedia resources that power the next steps for in-depth research
  • Profiles of key players and organizations
  • A glossary of key terms
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