‘Unbreakable’ security that wasn’t: True tales of tech hubris

The $30,000 lock
01 bramah lock

Image by Library of Congress

Eighteenth century British engineer Joseph Bramah invented a lock that, he was sure, could never be picked. He was so sure that he offered 200 guineas (roughly $30,000 today) to anyone who could defeat it. Cris Thomas, a 21st-century strategist at Tenable Network Security, calls this one of the first bug bounties in history. The lock remained seemingly impregnable for more than 67 years, until an American locksmith named Alfred Charles Hobbs defeated it in 1851, prompting a contemporary observer to remark that “the mechanical spirit, however, is never at rest, and if it is lulled into a false state of listlessness in one branch of industry, and in one part of the world, elsewhere it springs up suddenly to admonish and reproach us with our supineness.”

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Story added 17. February 2016, content source with full text you can find at link above.