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A Cyber Security Chronicle

16:36 Cyber Security Chronicle
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thanks to Centrify.com

 

In the opening scene of Hamlet, Bernardo is asked to identify himself by reciting a password before he can take over his castle post from Francisco: “Long live the king!”.1 This exchange, from Shakespeare’s prolific tragedy, is one of the most famous examples of passwords in literature. Historically, we have relied on passwords as a way to manage privileged access, but poor management and evolving threats are now making them obsolete.

In order to understand where cyber security is headed, we must first examine where it has been. The following timeline provides a brief history of passwords.  Part 1 Chronicle

An Unauthorised History of Passwords

1706

ARABIAN NIGHTS

This ancient collection of Arabic stories was officially published in English in 1706. In one of the most famous stories, a woodcutter named Ali Baba overhears a secret phrase used by a group of thieves to protect their treasure. While the thieves aren’t watching, Ali Baba utters the phrase “Open sesame” and takes the treasure.2

1961

FIRST COMPUTER PASSWORD

Researchers at MIT build a large time-sharing computer (CTSS) and control access to personal files and usage time with a password.3

1962

FIRST COMPUTER PASSWORD FAILS

In order to increase his CTSS access time, one of the MIT researchers prints out all of the passwords stored on the computer.4

1979

DATA ENCRYPTION STANDARD

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) creates an algorithm that sets a new standard for password security.5

1983

WARGAMES

David Lightman (played by a young Matthew Broderick) accidentally hacks into a military computer after conducting research on the original programmer and learning that he had a son named Joshua who died tragically. Predictably, the password is “Joshua.” 6

1998

ELECTRONIC FREEDOM FOUNDATION

After two decades of being the security standard, a digital rights group cracks the Data Encryption Standard (DES) code in a mere 56 hours.7

2010

WALKER, TEXAS DANGER

An anonymous engineer at a major social networking company claimed there was a time during which employees were able to access any user profile with a master password inspired by action hero Chuck Norris.8

2016

OLDER, BUT NOT WISER

According to a recent global survey of IT professionals 60% of employees report using the exact same password for everything they access—a prime example of poor password management.9

Although passwords were once vital to identity access management, the rapid evolution of the cyber security landscape is making single forms of authentication obsolete. In order to avoid becoming the latest headline, modern enterprises need multiple layers of security to safeguard their sensitive assets.

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01.02.2017
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