Didn’t we learn anything from WarGames?
My s.o. and I watched WarGames last night, and I enjoyed it not only for the kitschy nostalgia of an 8-inch floppy disk, but for some of the lessons of good information security practices that we still have trouble remembering:
- Don’t write down your password. Matthew Broderick’s character is able to break into his high school’s computer system and alter his grades because he reads the password off the secretary’s desk every couple weeks.
- Don’t make high-security systems publicly accessible. The W.O.P.R. computer (wasn’t that a great name?) that controls the launch of the US nuclear arsenal is accessed over a public phone line. Firewalls, anyone? Bueller?
It does seem like folks are generally getting a lot better with #2, but #1 seems to be a tougher nut to crack. It’s understandable, because it’s much more of a human behavior issue, but sometimes you just wonder, have we learned nothing in 20 years?