Simpsons Already Did It - Where Do You Think the Name “Trojan” Came From Anyway?

Presented at The Next HOPE (2010), July 18, 2010, noon (60 minutes)

SMS blockers, ransomware, licenses for trojans, factory installed malware… every day the news is full of accounts of innovative threats altering the landscape of the security arms race. But are these attacks really new? A quick glance at history shows us that these same attacks and defenses have been around for as long as there have been humans. Come hear about the ancient Greek firewalls (and firewall bypasses), about Roman security-by-obscurity, ancient port-scanning, and about Mozart’s “rights amplification” against the Pope. This will be a trip through the ages as the security arms race is analyzed. You’ll discover how we got where we are today and learn that even in security, history is always repeating itself.


  • Bill Cheswick
    Bill Cheswick is an early innovator in Internet security. He is known for his work in firewalls, proxies, and Internet mapping at Bell Labs and Lumeta Corp. He is best known for the book he co-authored with Steve Bellovin and now Avi Rubin, Firewalls and Internet Security: Repelling the Wily Hacker. He is now a member of the technical staff at AT&T Labs Research in Florham Park, New Jersey, where he is working on security, visualization, user interfaces, and a variety of other things.
  • Matt Blaze
    Matt Blaze is an associate professor of computer and information sciences and director of the Trusted Network Eavesdropping and Countermeasures project at the University of Pennsylvania. His research interests include secure systems, cryptology and cryptographic protocols, and large-scale systems.
  • Sandy Clark / Mouse as Sandy Clark (Mouse)
    Sandy Clark (Mouse) has been taking things apart since the age of two, and still hasn't learned to put them back together. An active member of the hacker community, her professional work includes an Air Force Flight Control computer, a simulator for NASA, singing at Carnegie Hall, and a minor in history. She is currently fulfilling a childhood dream, pursuing a Ph.D. in C.S. at the University of Pennsylvania. A founding member of Toool-USA, she also enjoys puzzles, toys, Mao (the card game), and anything that involves night vision goggles. Her research explores human scale security and the unexpected ways that systems interact.