Hacked!


Title: The Cuckoo's Egg: Tracking a Spy through the maze of computer espionage

Author: Cliff Stoll

Genre: Nonfiction, Technology

No. of pages: 399

Rating: 4/5




I don't know if many of you have been keeping up with the news but I'm sure you've heard of the cyber attack which has rendered the NHS useless.

That's why I think this is the perfect time to release this review.

Cyber Security is fast becoming one of the biggest risks to all organisations and we hear about security breaches daily.

It seems so glamorous, doesn't it? 

A hacker tapping away at his keyboard and gaining access to the country's most coveted secrets. Or funnelling black money through offshore accounts into shell corporations.

And the MI5 spies chasing these criminals across the globe; following the trail of thousands of pounds and eventually catching the criminals red-handed, justice prevailing and order being restored.

Sure, on TV.

Life in the computer security world is definitely not as glamorous. It involves staring at a computer screen and analysing big sets of data. This monotony is usually broken by long and frequent coffee breaks.

And this is exactly what this book is very good at explaining. 

Cliff Stoll is an astronomer who gets transferred over to the IT department at the University of Berkley. There he encounters a minor error in an accounting program which seemed easy enough to fix. However, Cliff opens up a can of worms when he realises someone is invading his network and looking through his files. As he follows the trail of breadcrumbs the problem is much bigger than he imagined. This book shows us how difficult it can be to solve a problem that seems like it has a simple enough answer.

The book is written very well and Cliff explains difficult terms simply so that even technophobes can easily understand the concepts he deals with. 

You do feel the story dragging which is good because that's exactly what Cliff feels as he goes in circles trying to find someone who can help him with his problem.

It's fast-paced, reads a bit like an action movie and is cheesy at points but for a nonfiction book, it was definitely riveting.

My only criticism would be I didn't need to know about his family or his friends or his marriage. I just wanted to know about the hacker and what he was doing. So for me personally, it was boring went Cliff went off on a tangent and started talking about knitting a patch quilt.

I think for anyone who is working in a business with computers (aka everyone) this is a must read just so to better understand computer security and appreciate what the security teams do behind closed doors to make sure we are protected. 
Don't forget guys, I post every Mondays and Fridays so be sure to check in!

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