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Cuckoo's Egg Mass Market Paperback – Print, November 1, 1990
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A sentimental favorite, The Cuckoo's Egg seems to have inspired a whole category of books exploring the quest to capture computer criminals. Still, even several years after its initial publication and after much imitation, the book remains a good read with an engaging story line and a critical outlook, as Clifford Stoll becomes, almost unwillingly, a one-man security force trying to track down faceless criminals who've invaded the university computer lab he stewards. What first appears as a 75-cent accounting error in a computer log is eventually revealed to be a ring of industrial espionage, primarily thanks to Stoll's persistence and intellectual tenacity.
From Publishers Weekly
Astrophysicist Stoll's pursuit of a hacker trying to access American computer networks led to the discovery of a West German spy ring. "A quest that reads with the tension and excitement of a fictional thriller," asserted PW . "Although best appreciated by the computer literate, even illiterates should be able to follow the technical complexities with little difficulty."
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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*Note: Just a few weeks ago in 2017 Equifax, one of the largest credit reporting bureaus in the U.S., allowed a back door to their data and over 141 million records were stolen, including mine. Think your personal information is safe online? As long as businesses and government politicians continue to deny problems and under fund data security none of our personal information is safe.
Anyway, a lot of sysadmins learn their trade because they are thrown into the fire without any prior experience, as happened to the author of this book, and it's entertaining to see him, a computer novice, teach himself what he needed to know to track down a hacker and to educate the U.S. military people in the process. I also found it interesting that, despite the fact that the author was basically a liberal, "anti-establishment", ex-hippie, he nonetheless felt such a sense of pride in his computer network that he was offended that a hacker should be in there mucking around, and this feeling of "ownership" and "responsibility" for his network spurred him on to try to catch the guy.
If you don't know anything about computers, you'll enjoy the book because, not only does the author explain concepts in layman terms, but as others have pointed out the book itself reads like a spy novel of sorts, and there's also quite a bit of humor thrown in, so it's quite entertaining overall.