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.
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.