Non-fiction. A new worker at a huge central computer at a Berkeley lab was given the job of finding out why user accounts were out by 75 cents. He ended up in a hunt for a hacker who was using the Californian computer to infiltrate dozens of other systems with an aim that was very dangerous to U.S. security. This is a gripping thriller, all the better because it is true.
The author is "an astronomer by training and a computer security expert by accident."
An odd-sounding title to be sureuntil you learn its derivation and how it relates to a book about computer espionage in the dark ages of dial-up, 1200 baud modems and DEC VAX mainframes. But, just because the book deals with events that took place twenty-two years ago, hardly makes it irrelevant. Even now, notwithstanding that technology has vastly overtaken what was high tech in 1986, Cliff Stolls exacting scientific method of tracking a spy through the maze of computer espionage is surprisingly current and most entertaining reading. The Chicago Times called it A true spy thriller . . . . the hunt is gripping. And, the Seattle Times adds: Fascinating . . . . A nonfiction account that reads like a Le Carré spy novel. I heartily agree!
EXCELLENT book. Great example of how the smallest of errors, often overlooked, actually signify a great danger. very interesting book and a must read for anyone interested in IT systems security. Highly recommend. Great thirller, especially considering it is based on true facts. Enjoyed it from cover to cover.
This book follows the true story of Cliff Stoll's hunt for the existence and origin of a computer hacker that has been breaking into US computer systems and stealing sensitive military and security info. I am hardly a computer-literate person, but it was certainly an exciting read! Stoll does use a lot of computer jargon but he is a very animated writer.
Excellent. Reads like great fiction, has everything: action, suspense, love interest, a reluctant hero and elusive bad guys. But it is all real. A must read, not too technical for the computer illiterates.
A 75-cent discrepancy in billing for computer time led Stoll, an astrophysicist working as a systems manager at a California laboratory, on a quest that reads with the tension and excitement of a fictional thriller. Painstakingly he tracked down a hacker who was attempting to access American computer networks, in particular those involved with national security, and actually reached into an estimated 30 of the 450 systems he attacked. Initially Stroll waged a lone battle, his employers begrudging him the time spent on his search and several government agencies refused to cooperate. But his diligence paid off and in due course it was learned that the hacker, 25-year-old Markus Hess of Hanover, Germany, was involved with a spy ring. Eight members were arrested by the West German authorities but all but one were eventually released. Although the book will be best appreciated by the computer literate, even illiterates should be able to follow the technical complexities with little difficulty. Literary Guild selection.
Cliff Stoll was an astronomer turned systems manager at Lawrence Berkeley Lab when a 75-cent accounting error altered him to the presence of an unauthorized user on his system. The hacker's coee name was 'Hunter' - a mystery invader hiding inside a twisting electronic labythrinth, breaking into U.S. computer systems and stealing sensitive military and security information. Stoll began a one-man hunt of his own, spying on the spy - and plunged into an incredible international probe that finally gained the attention of top U.S. counter-intelligence agents. "The Cuckoo's Egg" is his wild and suspenseful true story - a year of deception, broken codes, satellites, missile bases and the ultimate sting operation - and how one ingenius American trapped a spy ring paid in cash and cocaine, and reporting to the KGB.
A fascinating true story of computer network operator who is asked to look into a 75 cent accounting discrepancy, which turns into one of the first documented instances of computer espionage. Expecially good reading if you're a computer geek!