The Cuckoo’s Egg Decompiled: An Introduction to Information Security

** This course is now completed. You can download the recordings and course materials for free here:**


I’m excited to announce my newest online course. This is unlike any course I’ve done before and I’m making it available completely free.

The Cuckoo’s Egg Decompiled is a cross between an online course and a book club. Starting on November 9th, we’ll get together every Thursday night at 7:30 PM ET. Our “textbook” will be Cliff Stoll’s epic “The Cuckoo’s Egg”…the book that launched the career of many infosec practitioners and required reading for the field!

Each week I’ll review a few chapters of the book and we’ll tie Cliff’s experiences to modern themes in computer security. This series is ideal for people who are new to information security or want exposure to other facets of the field, but anyone is welcome. All you need is an internet connection and (optional) a copy of the book.

How can I join?

The weekly sessions are hosted LIVE online and free to attend. All you need to do is sign up and login. You can register before the start of the next session. Registration IS REQUIRED and space is limited.

– All course sessions have been completed –

What will we do?

For each session, I’ll provide an overview of the reading and then lead a discussion about the topics presented in the book. I’ll tie in aspects of Cliff’s story to modern security themes, breaches, tools, and techniques. I’ll demonstrate techniques from the book that are still relevant, or their modern evolutions. You’ll have the opportunity to participate by chiming in with your own thoughts and experience, participating group polls, or asking questions.

What work is required?

Ideally, you’ll come to each session having read the chapters we’ll discuss (I’ll tell you what those are ahead of time). Each week will cover around five chapters, which is only about 30-40 pages. Trust me, once you get started reading the book you’ll have a hard time putting it down. Couldn’t find the time to get the reading in this week? No problem, I’ll provide a quick rundown of the reading when we start.

What will I learn?

We’ll touch on a wide variety of information security topics. This will include but isn’t limited to: network architecture, host forensics, network forensics, packet analysis, security management, honeypots, malware, exploitation, attribution, lateral movement, encryption, network scanning, and espionage. You’ll have the opportunity to gain exposure to problem spaces spanning multiple infosec job roles and the underlying themes that tie them all together.

Who is this class designed for?

This course is specifically designed for people who are new to information security, those who have been in infosec for only a couple of years, or high school and college students. Topics will be discussed at an entry-level with a focus on stimulating curiosity and steering you towards additional resources if you want to learn more. Of course, while this group is designed to be entry-level, participation from experienced practitioners is also welcome!

Is participation required?

Absolutely not! Feel free to sit back and listen. If you’d like to join in I’ll open up the floor periodically to voice or video participation. There will also be a live chat going the whole time and I’ll be monitoring a hashtag on Twitter.

Will the sessions be recorded?

Yes, recordings will be made available until the next session begins. Live participation is highly encouraged so you can participate in the discussion and get the most out of the time. After the class is completed, the entire set of recordings, along with my instructional materials, will be made available for free to high schools, universities, and full-time students.

What if I miss a week?

No problem! You can catch one of the recordings and just read the chapters we would have covered.

What is the schedule?

We’ll plan to meet on these days, but this is subject to change as we get further along.

November 9, 16, 30

December 7, 13, 21

January 4, 11, 18, 25

Where can I get a copy of the book?

  1. You can buy a new copy from Amazon here
  2. Chances are, you might be able to find a friend or coworker who has a copy they will lend you
  3. Your local library might have a copy

How can I stay up to date on the event and changes?

Sign up for the group mailing list here.

Will this series be offered live again?

Probably not anytime soon. But, if this is successful there’s a good chance that I’ll do similar courses focused on different books.

Should I tell everyone I know about this course?

Only if you like them and want them to succeed in life. If you tweet about this course, use hashtag #cuckoosegg.

Where can I find lecture notes from sessions that are completed?

** This course is now completed. You can download the recordings and course materials for free here:**


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