Cliff Stoll’s “The Cuckoo’s Egg” was on the best seller list in 1989 for more than four months. It chronicles the story of his pursuit of a German computer spy. A systems manager at Lawrence Berkeley Labs, he’d detected anomalies in his network, discovering an apparently authorized user was using a stolen account and granting himself the powers of a systems manager.
For nearly a year Stoll tracked the hacker’s movements into his system, and what began as a curiosity turned into a law enforcement investigation as the culprit accessed sensitive military systems. The hacker turned out to be a German computer wiz selling information to Soviet intelligence. In 1989 Stoll published the account, in which he made public several major security weaknesses in widely used systems.