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The Cuckoo's Egg: Tracking a Spy Through the Maze of Computer Espionage

The Cuckoo's Egg: Tracking a Spy Through the Maze of Computer Espionage - Clifford Stoll Once again, Goodreads screws up the publishing dates! The original publish date was 1989, so as computer literature goes, this is a period piece. Before the mainstream public knew anything of an "internet", there was BITNET (a linkage of corporate and university mainframes), and a skeletal government proto-internet. In those Wild West days of the cyber-frontier, "hackers" made a sport of breaking into classified government computers. (think of the young Matthew Brodrick in "War Games") As an astrophysicist at the University of Arizona, Clifford Stoll recounts hunting down one such hacker who is using his skills for international espionage. If this were just a story about technology, I wouldn't be recommending it. Instead, Stoll's character really comes through in this book, and his brilliance as a "computer guy" doesn't overwhelm the story- in fact, his modesty in admitting the difficulties along the way make him a very sympathetic character. True to life, we never actually meet the villan at the other end of the telephone, but that adds to the sense of mystery. This is a solid mystery story, and will be a good read long after the technological details appear downright antique.