Wednesday, December 28, 2011

First Telecom Hacking

  • Claims that communication technology is 100% secure
  • Hacking a network with cheap common tools to show that those security claims are faulty
  • Patent claims challenged as too broad
  • Existing companies upset with new technologies breaking their business model

Sounds like the ongoing fights between Apple and Samsung or Oracle vs. Google.

“A century ago, one of the world’s first hackers used Morse code insults to disrupt a public demo of Marconi's wireless telegraph”

As explained in the New Scientist article Dot-dash-diss: The gentleman hacker's 1903 lulz  by Paul Marks, a 39-year-old British music hall magician named Nevil Maskelyne was able to thwart Guglielmo Marconi’s demonstration to the Royal Institution.

It seems that Marconi had made promises of a secure wireless network connection only to have it hacked as they set up the demonstration, and then again while he was selling ship-to-shore services. In both cases Maskelyne was able to do it with inexpensive readily available tools.

The article is a good read, and tells how even as wireless communication was starting out the seeds of telecom fraud and patent fights were being sown.

And hear I thought that the first fraud being Alexander Bell was surprising.