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4,8 von 5 Sternen63
4,8 von 5 Sternen
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am 14. Dezember 1999
This was the second computer security book I read and it was like adding flame to a fire because it increased my curiosity and prompted me to want to know more about it, so I ended up reading Cyberpunk by Katie Hafner and John Markoff to get a more inside look. If you start reading it then you'll probably finish it the same day. It talks a scientist that stumbles on a mistake in the accounting part of his job as a scientist at Lawrence Berkely Lab and he makes the mistake into a chase through cyberspace. In the book the author takes on the role as a modern day Sherlock Holmes and in the end he realizes that it was only elementary.
Dealing with the CCC (Chaos Computer Club), Hunter (the main hacker), and the different networks will really make you think and keep you on your toes. Read it and see for yourself just how intense the experience will be. I advise you to get some sleep before you start because you probably won't be getting any anytime soon.
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am 15. Juni 2000
This is an exciting and gripping story of a system administrator's life. One day, he discovers a hacker who is constantly breaking in into computer systems. When he begins to chase the hacker, he eventually finds out that it's not just some youth having fun reading other people's files. And you are going to hold your breath while following the administrator's every move.
The book's well written and funny. Its philosophy is somewhat anarchist, as is usual for computer freaks, and pretty ironical towards the US government institutions. I'm glad to say that the hero, looking like just another leftist jerk in the beginning, goes through a significant attitude change when he realizes that there are countries much more evil than the United States of America.
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am 13. April 2000
During his first week as a system administrator at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratories, Cliff Stoll noticed a mismatch of $0.75 in the total sum produced by two different programs used for system accounting. Within a day or two, he discovered that the system he is in charge of has been broken into. Most people would at that point shut the security hole, thus perhaps throwing away excellent material for a book. Dr. Stoll instead decided to track down the intruder, a quest that occupied most of his time for several months. His chase brought him in contact with several three-letter agencies, as well as celebrities Luis Alvarez and Bob Morris Sr.

Dr. Stall put considerable efforts to make descriptions of technical details as non-technical as possible. Still, enough details are preserved to bring fond memories to all those still remembering the BSD and System V Unices, VMS and early Internet. More amazing for me, however, was his deep and profound trust in the government agencies. In short, all of them wanted him to continue the chase while refused to help him in any way; requested information from him and at the same time giving no valuable information in return. As a topping, after Markus Hess -- the cracker Stoll has been chasing for month -- was arrested, FBI refused to release any information to Dr. Stoll and requested him to keep quiet, while at the same time leaked the story to a German magazine. Still, the whole episode seem to strengthen his belief in the government agencies, even more so when he discovers that the intruder is from abroad. Now if this is not patriotism, I do not know what it is.

All in all, the book reads as a very readable spy chase -- and a true one. Dr. Stoll writes well enough to succesfully convince even a non-American reader that he was doing the right thing and Hess was not. Well, almost.
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am 8. Juli 1997
This is a story of a young astronomer who was ignoring his proper
job and playing with computers too much, who discovered some alarming
hacking into US defence computers and decided to track down the
culprits.

Stoll is a persistent thoughful and imaginative investigator and
occasionally puts his scientific training to good use, for example
when he theorises on the location of the hackers based on their
network latency.

I found this utterly enthralling, and it is the only book where I
have literally read it through from start to finish unable to put it
down, which in my case meant getting to bed at 5.30 in the morning.

As well as a fascinating story of hacking and detection, the book
contains wry anecdotes of the total gulf between Unix, VMS and Apple
Mac users. Although the story is 10 years old, these attitudes still
prevail to this day. And of course Unix still RULES!!!!

The age of the story is revealed when a mini-computer is described
as being powerful because it musters 10 MIPS. These days that won't
support a mail program :-)

The book also relates in intimate detail the dreadful buck-passing
that went on for months before the US powers finally did something.

Interspersed with the main story are some bits and pieces of
Stoll's own life and this reader found it a little sad how he devoted
so much time to catching the hackers whilst fully aware that his
girlfriend was missing him at home, and then in a wistful series of
postscripts we learn they split up - perhaps there was some
connection.

This is the best of all of these books on computer crime - a must!
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am 13. November 1997
This book suceeds on many levels. Its a well written suspenseful spy novel that evolves very smoothly and engages the reader very early on. It is also an excellent description of computer / telecommunications technology that most anyone can understand, since he goes to the trouble to stop and explain, in laymens terms, UNIX utilities, daemon outputs, satellite technology, and microwave-oven protocol (check out the sneaker-melting fiasco on p 269). Stoll proves to be hell-bent on capturing the rogue user despite the lack of support from superiors and government agencies, and the toll it takes on his personal life. His frustrated accounts of his treatment at the hands of federal agencies as he petitions assistance from the FBI, the CIA, the NSA (among others) in capturing this potentially dangerous mole are testaments to the power of beaucracy in this country. However, he still manages to humanize the employees of these otherwise caricatured federal agencies by describing them as real people who want to help, rather than just surly trench-coated spies. I especially enjoyed reading about Stoll's low-tech solutions to slowing the hacker as he rifled through delicate documents by jangling keys over the connector to resemble static (simply cutting the line would have tipped the hacker off). This is a very enjoyable book, and I'd also recommend the reader try to find a videocassette copy of the NOVA TV special on PBS. Although it loses a lot of the book's details in the attempt to condense into one hour, it allows the viewer to see and hear the author, one of the quirkiest, most entertaining techno-goobers you'll come across.
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am 9. Juni 2003
I saw the TV program on this story before reading the book. Coming from a UNIX background it was fun to see a system I recognized. It could have been titled "The story of Ping" oops that title has been taken. I remember being billed for time on the computer and could only gain access at 2 AM. Many of these skills are now lost to people that do not have a shell account. I especially like how they kept the intruder on the line ling enough to track. The hunt was intriguing and it makes you wonder what is happening today. While this book deals with such things as passwords, the many new avenues created on today's Internet may afford for a newer mystery. Until then this is the classic.
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am 14. Juli 2000
A really great read for techies and non-techies alike. Despite being written more than 10 years ago, it remains timely. I would say even a book for the cusp of the new millenuim. This is where the cops and robbers of the future will take place - in cyberspace. Thanks for being one of the pioneers, Cliff!! JG
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I read this book for my Information Networks and Networking class. Our instructor wanted to see how complex the cyber community is and how easy it is for someone to trapaise through the networks to explore databases and websites of others. And how easy it is to destroy the trust that is expected from everyone participating in that community. Cliff Stoll shows the potential danger of hackers. He also points out the advantages and disadvantages of not securing your systems. We are open books when we decide to participate on the Web, our privacy and safety are challenged.
I found "The Cuckoo's Egg" to be a quick read and very informative. Since I am not a technical person, I found the language that Cliff Stoll used, to demystify the realm of computers, very easy to follow. I recommend this book to anyone who likes a good spy/ mystery/ thriller and loves computers.
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am 28. Mai 1999
Quite a story, especially because it is all true. If it wasn't, I would have chided Stoll for such a cartoonish portrayal of the FBI and CIA. Three-quarters of the book through, after seeing evidence of monitoring of hundreds of sessions including attacks on dozens of military computers, one of them said something like "So this is all about you losing seventy-five cents?" How Stoll avoided running screaming out of the city is beyond me. Quite a guy, and it is very noteworthy that this seemingly textbook leftist academic from what even he called the "People's Republic of Berkeley" chose to defend our country, at a cost of big chunks of his life, endangering his career, and ticking off those around him, when the FBI and CIA just plain wouldn't. Something to think about, Beltway boys. In the meantime, read the book.
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am 18. Februar 1998
OK, I admit it. This is one of those books that I simply could not put down until finished from cover to cover. I first read this book in '93, when I was taking a UNIX Admin class (sorry to say I did not evolve into a guru or wizard ;-D); found it absolutely fascinating and have been recommending it to folks ever since. Cliff Stoll gives a factual yet immensely enjoyable account of his investigation into the evil doings of some net hackers. For anyone who has ever wondered about the workings of our networks, this is a must-read. And even non-techies won't be disappointed with this book because of Stoll's personable style. I'm buying a new copy today because the last time I loaned out my old paperback, I didn't get it back. Lost in cyberspace, maybe? Anyway, I can't wait to read Silicon Snake Oil next.
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