Vulnerability Research Circa 1851

A session at RVASec 2013

We’ve lost a few things in the last 16 decades, but in particular, the open nature of vulnerability research that prevailed in the middle of the 19th century. In this talk we’ll look back to how locks were designed and publicly tested from the landmark attacks of Hobbs against Bramah and Chubb, to the efforts of a forgotten engineer to responsibly disclose vulnerabilities in the top American lock of the time. We’ll then observe how physical security disappeared from the public eye and public research became villainized and how all of that led to the American residential security market remaining absolutely unchanged and incredibly insecure for 150 years.

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Schuyler Towne

Research Scholar at the Ronin Institute, studying the History of Security

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Date Sat 1st June 2013

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