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The First Time a Password was Hacked

The First Time a Password was Hacked

On January 27th, 2012, Robert McMillan wrote an amazing article in Wired Magazine titled: “The World’s First Computer Password? It Was Useless Too”

In the article, we are introduced to Allan Scherr, a Ph.D. researcher at MIT, who discovered a method where he could log in as his peers and run computer processes. This incident took place in the mid-1960’s and may be one of the first accounts of a password being hacked. At this time computers were new and massive. In addition, demand to use these machines was so high, each user was only allowed 4 hours a week to run his or her experiments. But Allan Scherr needed more time run his programs so he figured out a way to use the computers under his peers’ usernames and passwords.

Since the 1960’s our methods for protecting passwords has become more sophisticated. But the problem is passwords are inherently flawed. Passwords need to be memorized which in turn makes them “easy” to crack, forget, and share. Even worse 73% percent of people use the same password for other sites. So the best firewall in the world can’t protect you if your password is “123456.” Further more just because your firewalls are top of the line, it makes no difference if other sites are prone to hacking.

Cyber crime or cyber espionage costs over 300 billion dollars (USD) globally every year.
That is why we believe we need to put an end to using passwords and why we invented eBankID. By removing the Achilles’ heel of the internet, the password, eBankID and signature recognition can create a more secure online environment.

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