Here’s the intro:
.htaccess files provides us with ways to make configuration changes on a per-directory basis. This file works well in Apache Web Server and on Linux/Unix. Also, it works on Windows based system with Apache Web server.There are several things that developers, site owners and webmasters can do by using .htaccess file. Let’s look at some of them:
* Prevent directory browsing
* Redirect visitors from one page or directory to another
* Password protection for directories
* Change the default index page of a directory
* Prevent hot-linking of images from your website
I highly recommend you read the rest of the little guide. The .htaccess files can also be exploited for hacking and fun. If you know your target, then it makes it alot easier to hack it.
Article on how to hack using this knowledge of .htaccess files!!