Technology

Who came up with computer passwords?

What do you see when you turn on your computer,laptop or smartphone? If you are a family man, or the safety of personal data is important to you, most likely, you will see a screen with a field for entering a password from the computer. This window today has become so familiar that many people do not even pay attention to it, and in fact in the 1960s, this invention greatly influenced science. The fact is that in those days, scientists were forced to work on the same computer, so they were only able to engage in several projects after the appearance of accounts with passwords.

The idea of ​​creating secure accounts came inhead of an American scientist named Fernando Corbato. He was born in the distant 1926 and during his long life made many discoveries. In 1990, he received one of the most prestigious awards in the scientific field, namely the Turing Award for his great contribution to computer science.

Password on the computer

He made his contribution to computer science in the 1960s,when I came up with computer passwords. In those days he was 30 years old and he worked at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He and his colleagues had to share among themselves one huge computer, called a mainframe. Using it, they literally felt like they were in a communal flat - data used by different people and for different purposes was stored in one place. This greatly complicated the work and led to confusion.

Computer 1960s

This problem was solved by developingthe so-called time-sharing system (CTSS). Using it on one computer, it was possible to create sections for each scientist - by entering them using their own passwords, users could only access their data.

password and safety

In the 1960s, scientists did not even think that afterFor two decades, mankind has invented the Internet with millions of different sites. Passwords also began to be used to log in to their accounts on forums and social networks, and as the number of sites increased, users had to memorize and record every bunch of usernames and passwords. It is not recommended to use the same password for all sites, because hacking one user’s page on social networks, hackers can easily enter other sites by entering the same set of letters and numbers.

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During the interview for The Wall StreetJournal Fernando Corbato once announced that passwords have become a real nightmare for the World Wide Web. Because of their large number, users have to either get thick notebooks to write them, or use special programs that store passwords in encrypted form. The number of passwords from Fernando in 2014 exceeded one hundred - they were recorded in three paper sheets.

Fernando Corbato in 1988

Besides the fact that passwords are difficult to remember, manyUsers often put light and hacking sets of letters and numbers. Computer security experts each year make a list of the weakest passwords, and almost always they include the trite “123456” and “qwerty”. The best alternative to passwords are fingerprint scanners and face recognition systems.

Death of Fernando Corbato

Unfortunately, July 12, 2019 on the InternetThere was a sad message - Fernando Corbato died at the age of 93 from complications caused by diabetes. In addition to creating passwords, he is known as the developer of one of the first operating systems in the world called Multics. She could simultaneously perform several operations and inspired programmers to create a Linux operating system.

Fernando Corbato in the last years of his life

Also, thanks to the writings of the scientist, in computer scienceappeared the so-called "Corbato law." It says that a programming language does not affect how many lines of code a programmer writes in a certain amount of time. Thanks to this law, humanity abandoned simple programming languages ​​and moved to more complex ones. As a result, it turned out that a change in programming languages ​​does not affect the development time of computer programs.

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