[SIGCIS-Members] computer security history

William McMillan wmcmillan at emich.edu
Sun Mar 11 15:04:11 PDT 2012

Jon, et al.

There might be some value in looking into the history of Multics, the
IBM System/360, and DEC VAX/VMS.  These were systems built from the
ground up with security in mind, even at the hardware level for
address-space protection.

I'm sure there are other good cases, but these come to mind.

I believe that Peter J. Denning's work on operating systems would also
be related.

We had a mainframe guy from Compuware come in recently to talk to
students about current mainframes, which amount almost totally to the
IBM z Systems, descendants of the 360/370.  When someone asked about
security, he said forget about it. No one's ever hacked a z System.

There's this whole, heavy-duty, bullet-proof world of hyper-secure
systems, and then the swamps and tangles most of us live in that
evolved from Unix, MS-DOS, the 8086, the Mac OS and other jury-rigged
OSs and hardware architectures.

- Bill

On 3/11/12, Jon Lindsay <jrlindsay at ucsd.edu> wrote:
> Hello all,
> I have the feeling that the history of computer security, from hacking
> techniques to the evolution of the information security industry to
> fearmongering over cybersecurity, is a somewhat understudied area. I have
> seen some work on the development of government policy and threat framing
> (i.e., by Myriam Dunn Cavelty) but I'm less aware of anything on the
> evolution of the technical and industrial dark arts. If there is some good
> work out there, I would love to see it.
> Bonus points if you can tell me when the awful phrase "digital pearl
> harbor" first appeared!
> Cheers,
> Jon

More information about the Members mailing list