Last month I finished reading The Cuckoo’s Egg by Cliff Stoll. It’s the true story of on of the first documented spy attempts through the Internet and other networks. Although it’s written in - and from the perspective of - the late 1980s, it is still relevant to today.
I’d highly recommend it to anyone. And even non-technical people would enjoy it - it expects no understanding of technical or hacking jargon, and explains it as it goes.
At the end there’s a bibliography, so I figured I’d help out future readers and link to the various books and articles it references.
First, Mr. Stoll lists a couple of articles he wrote from his experience described in the book. There’s Stalking the Wily Hacker (also available on textfiles.com, an awesome site on its own) from the May 1988 issue of the Communications of the ACM. And there’s What Do You Feed a Trojan Horse? (on page 240, which the link should take you directly to) in the Proceedings of the 10th National Computer Security Conference (September 1987).
He also mentions Defending Secrets, Sharing Data: New Locks and Keys for Electronic Information (which he says is “available from the U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment, OTA-CIT-310” but the link I provided is from the Office of Technology Assessment Archive.
As to books, he lists the following:
- The Puzzle Palace by James Bamford
- The Codebreakers by David Kahn
- Deep Black: Space Espionage and National Security by William E. Burrows
- Cryptography and Data Security by Dorothy Denning
- Unix System Security by Patrick Wood and Stephen Cochan
So if you enjoyed The Cuckoo’s Egg and want to learn more, here is some further reading.