The Hacker Crackdown by Bruce Sterling
A fine book.

Sterling has written an interesting and well researched book about a fascinating topic.

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My rating
Seven out of ten.

Good stuff.

My review
In early 1990, the US national telephone system was struck by a fault that brought down large parts of the network for several hours. We now know that this was caused by a fairly prosaic programming error that was further compounded by a lack of testing before new software was installed. At the time, this was not known and many people involved in law enforcement in the US feared that the attack was the result of the activities of a group of computer hackers.

These circumstances led to an extraordinary sequence of events. The authorities launched action against many in and on the periphery of the hacking world. As is normally the case in these situations, not everyone targetted was involved in the activities against which the actions were directed.

Bruce Sterling, well known as a modern SF author became aware of this and was spurred into investigating the investigation and writing a book about the events of the Hacker Crackdown. This book is the result.

It is a very fine book. The writing is a lucid as you would expect from a professional author but the investigation too is a fine piece of work. As well as detailing the events, the author tells the story of the people involved in the operation. As a result, we get a picture of the players on both sides as well as the game.

Of course, several years on, many of the technical details of the story seem quaint but this does not detract from the fact that the book tells an interesting story very well. It also raises a number of questions about the vulnerabilities arising from the internet era and the way in which society attempts to defend itself.