Good day everyone! Welcome to the November book of the month, The Cuckoos Egg by Cliff Stoll.
This is an excellent book that talks about a story about how an astronomer turned mainframe programmer tracks a $.75 accounting error to hacker across the world. This is a book I have mentioned during my live events several times and really has provided a great cornerstone into the world we live in from a computer security perspective.
The author of the book Cliff Stoll is the same astronomer who tracks down the hacker. He is also a great storyteller. This is what I enjoyed most of the book is the story that Cliff weaves around the real life events that occurred while he was working at Berkley. The book is a great read and Cliff is a phenomenal author.
As mentioned above Cliff is first and foremost an astronomer but takes a job in the mainframe department. Cliff begins working in this department and makes a discovery of accounting error then he is off to the races. What I really liked about the book is the methodology that Cliff Stoll deploys to track down the error, that discovers the exploit. This is methodology that most of us employ everyday to audit and track down issues in our networks. Another fact of the book I thoroughly liked reading was how the technology has changed on how we track information through phone lines. In one point of the book as Cliff and the authorities were tracking the hacker down, they had to engage a phone technician who was physically switching cables around to help trace the phone call.
In my opinion The Cuckoo’s Egg is a must read for anyone in the IT industry. Specifically if you are in IT security role or looking to get into IT security this book is an excellent primer to talk about how a hacker can leverage a minor exploit and more importantly what kind of processes and methodologies you can put in place to go after the bad guy.
You can find out more about the book here: The Cuckoo’s Egg
You take a look at my other book of the months here: http://blogs.technet.com/matthewms/archive/tags/Book+of+the+Month/default.aspx
Please comment if you have read the book and let me know what you think!
BTW, his cookie recipe is good! 🙂