Tuesday, October 19

The Cuckoo's Egg

The Cuckoo’s Egg is written by a computer geek who was working in a science lab in Berkeley, California. He was an administrator of the computer network in the lab, and one day he found there's some minor unbalancing in the accounting system, that's how the story begins.

A hacker stole his computer time for 2 seconds to sneaked into his computer network. After he was sneaked into the system, he pretended as a normal user, and nobody would notice his existence. But Clifford, the computer geek, found something unusual from that 2-second unbalancing, so he kept looking for the source of the unbalancing, and found a big fish at last.

From the very beginning, Clifford thought he could verify that the accounting system had round-off error when dealing with small numbers. But two days later it turned out that the accounting system was pretty smart, and there's some unusual activities in one user's account. When he reported that to his manager, they agreed that it might be some student who stole the account and fooled around the network. So he had 2 weeks to find out the little naughty boy.

2 weeks later, by tracing the dial-up call, it seems that the hacker was from Virginia, but the telephone company won't give them the phone number without a court's order. Things showed that the hacker was really interested in anything related to the military computer system because using Clifford's computer as a jump-up, he kept knocking the military's computer system all the time. Sometimes the hacker was lucky to break into an military's computer system, he searched for some sensitive articles inside-out.

He called some bureaucrat, but no one listened to him. No one noticed that this was a serious problem. Everyone told him:"Fix the bug in your system, shut the door, then get away from the hacker!" Clifford knew that if he shut the door of his computer system, the hacker would find another jump-up and keep breaking-in more computer system. He called the administrators of those systems who were broken-in, but most of them would fixed their own bug and shut the hacker out, no one is interested in digging the hacker out. What should Clifford do?

To Be Continued...