Study: Internet security remains weak

Oct. 5, 2004 at 3:07 PM   |   Comments

BOULDER, Colo., Oct. 5 (UPI) -- Colorado researchers say Internet security on some popular Web sites remains weak, an indication that experts should design sites' security systems.

John Black of the University of Colorado tested the security of the popular Web-based Internet Chess Club and showed that the site wasn't secure. In fact, they proved users could cheat rather easily, a school spokesman said Tuesday.

Internet Chess Club has more than 30,000 members worldwide and claims Madonna, Nicolas Cage, Will Smith and Gary Kasparov as players.

Black says the main lesson is that even really smart people shouldn't try to create their own security systems unless they are experts.

"Unless you have a lot of experience, don't try to invent your own security system, it will just be broken," said Black, an assistant professor of computer science in CU-Boulder's College of Engineering and Applied Science. "Believe me, it's better to leave that job up to the experts."

Black, who in 2002 received the National Science Foundation's most prestigious award for promising junior faculty, a $324,000 award, says the only way students and professionals can create good security systems is to learn the typical methods used by hackers.

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