Soviet Cyber Espionage in 1986: The Cuckoo’s Egg

July 24, 2012
Cyber Security
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One of the most important books for understanding modern cyber threat’s is one of the first books on the dynamics of this new domain.  It is Clifford Stoll’s The Cuckoo’s Egg: Tracking a Spy Through the Maze of Computer Espionage. This book documents the steps taken by Stoll to track down what a mystery invader was doing inside the networks of Lawrence Berkeley Lab and is required reading since so many of the methods used by the hacker and the tracker remain important today. It is also important because it shows the value that foreign espionage agents place on using systems to acquire information.

From the book description:

Cliff Stoll was an astronomer turned systems manager at Lawrence Berkeley Lab when a 75-cent accounting error alerted him to the presence of an unauthorized user on his system. The hacker’s code name was “Hunter” — a mystery invader hiding inside a twisting electronic labyrinth, breaking into U.S. computer systems and stealing sensitive military and security information. Stoll began a one-man hunt of his own, spying on the spy — and plunged into an incredible international probe that finally gained the attention of top U.S. counterintelligence agents. The Cuckoo’s Egg is his wild and suspenseful true story — a year of deception, broken codes, satellites, missile bases, and the ultimate sting operation — and how one ingenious American trapped a spy ring paid in cash and cocaine, and reporting to the KGB.

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