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41 Reviews
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You've lost 75 cents of computer time? Panic!
Spy stories are great fun. James Bond, Tom Clancy... And Now Cliff Stoll, with only one minor difference.
This one's true.
In the Eighties, Clifford Stoll ran out of money for his research into Astronomy at the University of Berkeley and was 'recycled' into the lab's computer division. A couple of days into his new job, his boss brought an interesting problem to...
Published on 13 Nov 2000

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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Readable, but could be half the length
This is a book about an academic chasing a hacker in the days when this was a rare and for the most part, irrelevant act in the eyes of the FBI etc.

It's set in 1986, so expect references to old machines such as VAXes and BSD vs AT&T Unix etc - great for us old geeks, otherwise a bit obscure.

Cliff Stoll does a passable job at explaining hacking and...
Published on 13 Dec 2006 by Joe Briar


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5.0 out of 5 stars If you have used a computer then you should read this..., 24 Aug 2012
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Clifford Stoll takes you on an arduous journey in a time when computer crime was not taken seriously. The book is well written and once started, is hard to put down... The story does cover some technical information but it is well explained, making it easy for all to follow. A great read that is interesting for someone working or interested in computers and also for those who don't use computers (although I fail to see how you could be reading this review!). Awesome!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic read!, 13 July 2012
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Although now dated in term of technology, this is a fascinating insight into the dawn of hacking and the security industry that has now grown up since those days. Some of the methods used (simple/default passwords) are just as applicable today, and real wake up call to some of us! Well written and gripping, a highly recommended book for anyone involved in information security.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Account Of History, 27 Jan 2012
By 
Shane Hudson (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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I picked up this book in the university library, expecting it to be a technical book (it was after all in the technical section). It isn't. This is a novel that anybody who does not know much about computing history will probably believe to be fiction. This novel explains, to the common reader, everything from UNIX commands to how a bug in emacs was exploited and how the Morris Worm worked. I thought I knew my history pretty well, but there are some people in this book that were very important in the computing world whom I had not even heard of!

This truly is a remarkable book, possibly a one of a kind.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Computer Security 101, 18 Dec 2011
By 
M. SMITH - See all my reviews
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Cliff tells an interesting story of an accounting error in the computers at Berkley University. His work to understand this uncovered a computer hacker with access to many other systems including the US military.

This account of the first ever ad hoc network monitoring, using printers connected to incoming modem lines, makes me realise how far we have come. While the technology has changed, the threat faced is still the same. Universities and Military organisations are still regularly attacked.

This book is a must read for anyone in the cyber defence industry, but also an enjoyable novel for anyone interested in espionage or computer warfare.

I have given this book 5 stars. Less for the writing ability and story (which are also great) but for the fact that this book will go down in history as THE book to read on network defence.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book, 19 Nov 2011
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This is a book that you really will struggle to put down. What adds to the draw of this is that it is all true. If you have an interest in computing it is a must although you can still enjoy even if you know nothing about computers.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The original and best, 11 Oct 2011
By 
Mark Hurst (Bedfordshire) - See all my reviews
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A classic, of course, and getting on a bit now. Published in 1989, this is a postgraduate astronomer's account of how he stalked a German hacker who was using the university as a jumping-off point for military espionage. A great book and not too technical, but perhaps a little too self-consciously hip for its own good: I've been to California and most Californians think all that Venice Beach stuff is weird too. I saw Stoll on TV once, and at least he's a real hippy.

Still a more gripping book than Stoll's purported anti internet (but really anti computer-junkie) followup Silicon Snake Oil: Second Thoughts on the Information Highway.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable...simply amazing, 1 April 2002
Like the previous reviewer said, this man has brains...
Knowing next to nothing about computers, and thrusted into the position of looking after a bank of Californian Super Computers, Clifford Stoll was in an unenviable position. Soon, he was rubbing shoulders with the 3 letter "entities", as they came to be called, and tracking a faceless spy on the other side of the Earth.
Cliff describes his frustrations, his joy, everything - amazing book! Buy it!...
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Page-turner, 9 Dec 2014
A fascinating book about the hacker and the man who brought him down. Very funny and also very interesting read. A page-turner. Highly recommendable.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just a spy story..., 12 May 2008
By 
S. Bentley "stuarthoratiobentley" (North Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
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So Cliff Stoll, astronomer, gets a job as a computer bod at Berkeley. He comes across a discrepancy in accounting of about 75 cents for computer time and when he investigates further he finds out that there is much more going on than meets the eye.

Written with a good sense of humour, this book cracks along, taking us through the various stages of Cliff's investigation, from what he was doing on a technical basis, to his encounters with the American Intelligence Services (yes, there's an obvious joke there), to his relationship with his girlfriend. Because he writes about his own low knowledge levels (being a novice techie at the time)this allows him to explain the concepts being dealt with, such as operating system stuff. Thus the book acts as a good primer for understanding networking and the nascent internet of the day, as well as how hackers would go about breaking into systems. (There's also a recipe for cookies in there. Cliff is not one for forgetting the smaller things in life.)

I enjoyed it greatly. The information here is probably a bit outdated, but it's an intriguing story nonetheless.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This is one of the best books I have EVER read!, 18 Mar 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Cuckoo's Egg (Paperback)
It has everything. Suspence, drama, action and lots of computer crimes and stuff. Read it! You'll LOVE it!
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The Cuckoo's Egg
The Cuckoo's Egg by Cliff Stoll (Paperback - 12 April 1991)
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