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Hacking is the art of exploiting computers to get access to otherwise unauthorized information. The interpretation of what constitutes unauthorized access is relative to the party in question, however. Now that the world is using IT systems to gather, store and manipulate important information there is also a need to make sure that data is secure. However, no system is without its problems. Holes are often present within security systems which, if exploited, allow hackers to gain access to this otherwise restricted information. The following Wikibook aims to give you the fundamental information required to grasp a foundational understanding of what constitutes hacking and the various methodologies under which it is performed, both ethically and unethically.

Hacking and information security are continuously adapting fields and as such, the relevance of material presented in this book should be cross referenced with more timely sources to insure proper guidance.

Hacking is a controversial and divided topic, with varying interpretations of what constitutes ethical hacking. This book will attempt to maintain a neutral and unbiased presentation of fact, not favoring any one side. For a further discussion of one interpretation of "ethical hacking" see Hacker Ethic.