Browse Prior Art Database

"The stockings were hung by the chimney with care" (RFC0602) Disclosure Number: IPCOM000003676D
Original Publication Date: 1973-Dec-27
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2000-Sep-13
Document File: 1 page(s) / 2K

Publishing Venue

Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)

Related People

R.M. Metcalfe: AUTHOR


The ARPA Computer Network is susceptible to security violations for at least the three following reasons:

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This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 100% of the total text.

Arpa Network Working Group Bob Metcalfe (PARC-MAXC)

Request for Comments: 602 Dec 1973

NIC #21021

"The Stockings Were Hung by the Chimney with Care"

The ARPA Computer Network is susceptible to security violations for at least

the three following reasons:

(1) Individual sites, used to physical limitations on machine access, have

not yet taken sufficient precautions toward securing their systems

against unauthorized remote use. For example, many people still use

passwords which are easy to guess: their fist names, their initials,

their host name spelled backwards, a string of characters which are

easy to type in sequence (e.g. ZXCVBNM).

(2) The TIP allows access to the ARPANET to a much wider audience than

is thought or intended. TIP phone numbers are posted, like those

scribbled hastily on the walls of phone booths and men's rooms. The

TIP required no user identification before giving service. Thus,

many people, including those who used to spend their time ripping off

Ma Bell, get access to our stockings in a most anonymous way.

(3) There is lingering affection for the challenge of breaking

someone's system. This affection lingers despite the fact that

everyone knows that it's easy to break systems, even easier to

crash them.

All of this would be quite humorous and cause for raucous eye

winking and elbow nudging, if it weren't for the fact that in

recent weeks at least two major serving hosts were crashed

under suspicious circumstances by people who knew what they

were risking; on yet a third system, the system wheel password

was compromised -- by two high school students in Los Angeles

no less.

We suspect that the number of dangerous security violations is

larger than any of us know is growing. You are advised

not to sit "in hope that Saint Nicholas would soon be there".