History of the Password


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Passwords have been around a long time. But do you ever wonder how we got to this stage?

Read on to learn about the history of the password and where we currently stand in this Internet driven culture. http://ca.com?mrm=425887

Published in: Technology

History of the Password

  1. A Brief History of the
  2. Passwords are the key to your online world. And a strong password is essential to protecting yourself in this environment.
  3. But do you ever wonder how we got to where we are today?
  4. Here’s the brief story of how the password has evolved over the years:
  5. The first computer password was developed in 1961 by Fernando Corbató’s team for MIT’s Compatible Time-Sharing System (CTSS). CTSS was a computer designed for multiple users (like computers in a modern day computer lab). Photo: MIT Museum, http://www.wired.com/2012/01/computer-password/
  6. In a time where computer use was uncommon and expensive, this was the first attempt at user authentication (ensuring that you are who you say you are).
  7. In 1962, a software bug infected the system’s master password profile and a list of all CTSS user passwords became available to anyone who logged in. Or so we thought…
  8. In reality, a Ph.D. researcherAllan Scherr printedout all of the CTSS passwordsin an attempt to increasehis daily usage of the computer. To spread the blame around, Scherr gave the passwordsto a bunchof other users. This was the first computer password-relatedsecuritybreach.
  9. But as computers started to become mainstream, it became evident that ‘security standard’ for passwords was needed.
  10. Now jumping ahead to 1979, the Data Encryption Standard (DES) was invented by the National Bureau of Standards. This essentially raised the bar for what had to be included in a secure password.
  11. DES remained the standard for nearly 20 years, but in 1998, the Electronic Freedom Foundation ended up breaking the DES key in just 56 hours.
  12. Jumpingback one year, 1997 was a big year for the password.The Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) was created which would take 255 (that’s 2 to the 55th power)years to crack. This standard is still used today.
  13. This same year, Andrei Broder, ChiefScientist for AltaVista createda wayof generatinga random image of text that computerscannotreadcalled CAPTCHA.This systemwas updatedby Luis van Ahn in 2009, when he added securitymeasures moresuitablefor modern day threats.
  14. Today, there are many products available that help to minimize the usage of passwords…
  15. Like the Single Sign-On technology that you’re familiar with from apps like Facebook and Twitter, which lets you automatically log on after only entering in your password once…
  16. and user authentication, which confirms your identity with something you know, something you are, or something you have.
  17. While the password may never go away completely, we are moving towards a future that includes fewer passwords and more security.
  18. But while they are still the norm, check out our 7 tips to creating a strong password or this additional info on CA Advanced Authentication to take control of your online identity!