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'Unbreakable' security that wasn't: True tales of tech hubris

Discussion in 'Network World' started by RSS, Feb 17, 2016.

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    RSS New Member Member

    The $30,000 lock
    Image by Library of Congress

    Eighteenth century British engineer Joseph Bramah invented a lock that, he was sure, could never be picked. He was so sure that he offered 200 guineas (roughly $30,000 today) to anyone who could defeat it. Cris Thomas, a 21st-century strategist at Tenable Network Security, calls this one of the first bug bounties in history. The lock remained seemingly impregnable for more than 67 years, until an American locksmith named Alfred Charles Hobbs defeated it in 1851, prompting a contemporary observer to remark that "the mechanical spirit, however, is never at rest, and if it is lulled into a false state of listlessness in one branch of industry, and in one part of the world, elsewhere it springs up suddenly to admonish and reproach us with our supineness."

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