Book Review: The Cuckoo’s Egg by Cliff Stoll

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The Cuckoo’s Egg is set in the 80’s where Cliff, an Astronomer at Berkley  gets reassigned to the IT department instead of leaving after finishing a research project. A few days into his new role, he is tasked at investigating an accounting error of 75c on the mainframe billing system.

What should have been a straight forward task lead him to discover that the error was due to a hacker accessing the system remotely. Instead of closing the security hole, Cliff decides to watch what the hacker is doing and discovers that the hacker is not just some script kiddy have a bit of a poke about.

What follows is a wild goose chase involving cross state line traces, the FBI, the CIA, the military defence network and KGB.

I bought The Cuckoo’s Egg on a recommendation from a post on TechRepublic about top books every geek should own. This particular book caught my attention as it is a true story and was before the days of the internet as we currently know it.

Although a book related to hackers and technology, it is about the journey and not about the technology involved and as such could be picked up by anyone.

I highly recommend this book for anyone who has an interest in computing, the internet and computer security.

Check out “The Cuckoo’s Egg” on Amazon

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