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The Cuckoo's Egg: Tracking a Spy Through the Maze of Computer Espionage Paperback – 13 Sep 2005
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Description for The Cuckoo's Egg: Tracking a Spy Through the Maze of Computer Espionage
"Fascinating...a nonfiction account that reads like a le Carré novel."
-- The Seattle Times
"Stoll's is the ever-appealing story of the little man bucking the system...great fun to read...lively and thoroughly absorbing."
-- The Philadelphia Inquirer
"The Cuckoo's Egg is 'reader friendly,' even for those who have only the vaguest familiarity with computers...a true spy thriller....The hunt is gripping."
-- Chicago Tribune
"As exciting as any action novel....A gripping spy thriller."
-- The New York Times Book Review
About the Author
When, to the delight of the baffled FBI, CIA, and NSA, Cliff Stoll nailed his spy, he wound up on the front page of The New York Times. The story, broken in 1989, quickly gathered headlines across the nation and Stoll became a genuine, if somewhat unlikely, American hero.
An astronomer by training and a computer expert by accident, Cliff Stoll has become a leading authority on computer security, an issue recognized everywhere as among the most important security problems of our times. He has given talks for the FBI, CIA, and NSA, and has appeared before the U.S. Senate. Stoll is an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
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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.
If you are not a "techy", don't let it deter you. The author explains all of the technology that he speaks about in very easy to understand terms, and uses a lot of good analogies. I would put this book up against just about any spy novel out there.....The only difference is that THIS IS TRUE!
..and it all started with a 75 cent discrepancy.
*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.