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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

versus
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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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You've lost 75 cents of computer time? Panic!, 13 Nov 2000
By A Customer
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 his attention, their accounting software - logging, and charging for, time on the mainframe - was missing 75 cents. Would he like to look into it?
A year later Clifford Stoll had tracked a hacker across half the planet, through dozens of supposedly secure military and civillian networks, he'd interfaced with a dozen or more three-letter agencies (CIA, FBI, NSA, CID and more) and become one of the world's most respected experts in computer security.
I wish I had half the brains this man has. I'd reccomend this book to anyone with even a passing interest in the internet, computer security, networks and other computer related hardware. The book'll leave you feeling like an idiot, but you'll love every second.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 10 years old but still relevant for the internet of today, 27 April 2004
By 
Elizabeth Taylor (France) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
A friend lent me this book as we both work in the networking industry andhe was surpised I'd never read it. It took me a weekend to finish and Ifound it very interesting both for the story it told but also as a lookback to the origins of the internet and how its pitfuls have not reallychanged. Its the story of a university professor who becomes obsessedwith tracking down a hacker, even though he has limited knowledge ofhacking, or even computers. The hacking in this case is rather archaic asit involves dialing in via a modem connection to a unix box and thenexploiting weaknesses in unix to gain super user rights and create newaccounts to link to other computers. All this happens in the very earlydays of the internet and the connection of computers together. As thehacker is very interested in words like miltary, nuclear, secrets! theprofessor tries to alert the authorities none of whom seem clued up onhacking or on the implications of a global superhighway as we like to coinit now.
Although the OS etc.. are completely out of date the mindset of the hackerand the persuer, the dogged determination on both sides to obtain whatthey want out of a man made system was certainly a revelation to me andhighlights that in this domain although the systems have become moresophisticated the people have the same motivations. The sections onwanting to keep openess at the expense of security have unfortunatley beenlost on the interent as we all have to have firewalls and plough throughmountains of commerical websites generating annoying pop up menus. Ithought the most poignant moment in the book was when the author statesthat what saves networking in his time from being totally exposed tohacking is the fact that there are a diversity of operating systems, unix,vax, dos, apple and that if at any moment this changed the hackers wouldbe in paradise. Someone please send this book to Bill Gates. All in allalthough the technology is out of date, its a must and simple read ifyou're in networking and have never read it or just want to understandwhat hacking is all about.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Relevant, 11 Sep 2005
By 
R. P. Sedgwick "Grim Rob" (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Despite the age of this book, the basic concepts of hackers, viruses and worms are surprisingly similar now to what they were in the late 1980's, the period when The Cuckoo's Egg is set. The big difference between then and now is the incredible lack of interest in computer espionage from the various US intelligence agencies which the author encountered.
The story of this book is largely Clifford Stoll's battle to get the FBI, CIA and numerous other agencies to recognise what was going on and act upon it. This despite the fact that the target of the hackers were predominantly military computers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cliiford stoll -cuckoos egg, 27 Mar 2004
This review is from: The Cuckoo's Egg (Paperback)
I have just purchased this book s/hand on amazon uk, although I have read it several times. Stolle paints a wonderful picture of the laid back California lifestyle at berkley while gripping your interest with factual computer exploits and his attempts to get someone in authority to take notice of his discovery and help him catch the hackers.
This book is one you simply cant put down stolles easy way of writing makes you feel you are with him, wether he is cycling down the hill near the particle accelerators, camping out amongst the wires of the network waiting for the hacket to set off his pager or watching a free grateful dead concert. If you like computer hacking,security stories, computer history and the california lifestyle , get this book.
Also take a look at hackers by steven levy - the hackers refers not to the script kiddies of latter days, but the pioneers at MIT, messing aro0und with pdp,s or the california startups like apples jobs and wozniak and the software pioneers of the late 70s early 80s
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!, 6 Jun 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Cuckoo's Egg (Paperback)
I bought this book from a second hand shop yesterday morning and couldn't put it down until I'd read it all - by 6pm last night! Has just gone to the top of my recommended books list. The detailed technical details really opened my eyes to the security issue and although things have changed somewhat since then, you'll always have those sorts of people around!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting, 27 Oct 1999
This review is from: The Cuckoo's Egg (Paperback)
Go on have an impulse purchase you wont regret it .I cant remember the last time a book hooked me as well as this one did.The way an inocent astronomer became the key to the solving of a international espionage ring sounds like far fetched fiction.BUT THIS ONE IS TRUE. the recepie for the milkshakes is a good one to
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superbly paced , real-life techno-thriller, 15 Jan 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Cuckoo's Egg (Paperback)
I read this book on the recommendation of a colleague and was blown away with the detail of the computer crime. It was made even more enjoyable by the knowledge that the crimes and adversaries were real people. That a major incident in computer espionage was discovered by an accounting discrepancy of only a few cents, and that the main counter espionage agencies were unwilling or unable to assist, is, quite frankly, a little scary. Don't be put off by the subject matter it is as good a thriller, with an easy narrative style, as John Grisham's Pelican brief, with the added bonus that all the story is true. However if you are in any way involved with computer or network security, this book is a "must read".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worked for me ... a real page turner! Got a lesson in the creation of the Internet to-boot!, 20 April 2006
This book manages to be two books in one really: a brief history of the Internet, protocols involved, and computers of yore; and a thrilling story about one mans obsession to catch a computer hacker - Sventek.

A genuine fly-on-the-wall book as you follow Cliff through his meetings with middle-management, Police, FBI, CIA & NSA, plus a ever-growing collection of communication company techies. You are always left wanting to turn the page to see where the story will take you next.

My only gripe is that the story gets a little slow around the end third of the book and you can some-what be left thinking please just catch him!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! a very catchy thriller ( it won't let go )., 25 Mar 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Cuckoo's Egg (Paperback)
This book has gone to the number one spot on my list, the best thing being that the whole story is a from a TRUE log of a computer wiz trying to cat a rodent running around in his O/S. I had never read a 400 page book in one day. "Buy this book"
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting in computer security.... BUY THIS BOOK, 16 April 2003
By 
B. Smyth - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
If your interested in the world of Computer Security, you'll love this book! I most certainly did.
Stoll is a fantastic story teller, throwing in humour and everyday live alongside the true story of a hacker who broke into his system.
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The Cuckoo's Egg: Tracking a Spy Through the Maze of Computer Espionage
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