The Story of L0pht and Internet Security

In 1998 7 hackers sat before a panel of US senators and warned that the internet had serious security flaws. The sad reality is that the majority of security issues we face on the internet today are the same or very similar to what the members of LOpht warned about in 1998.

“If you’re looking for computer security, then the Internet is not the place to be,” - Mudge LOpht member

The long read from Washington post goes into amazing detail about how the members of LOpht began hacking in their loft apartment and it led to addressing US senators on the issue of internet security. The first years hacking hardware often found in dumpsters seem quaint now compared to the massive cost incurred by illegal hacking of personal accounts, companies and governments.

LOphet claimed that they could bring down the internet in 30 minutes. A claim never proven but many of the other security flaws they identified remain. In ways they have become more difficult to deal with as the internet has grown and become a necessity. It is no longer solely the demain of tech enthusiasts but also the average person whose lack of technical knowledge could put them at risk due to the flawed nature of the internet itself.

A disaster foretold — and ignored