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This in-depth history of a fascinating subculture contrasts mainstream images of hackers with a detailed firsthand account of the computer underground. Douglas Thomas studies novels and films (Neuromancer, WarGames, Hackers, and The Matrix) and reveals contemporary views of hackers as technological wizards, high-tech pranksters, and virtual criminals. Her then examines the court cass of Kevin Mitnick and Chris Lamprecht to determine how hackers are defined as criminals. Thomas finds that popular hacker stereotypes express the public's anxieties about the information age far better than they do the reality of hacking.