Word Notes 8.11.20
Ep 4 | 8.11.20

penetration test (noun)


Rick Howard: The word is penetration test.

Rick Howard: Definition: the process of evaluating the security of a system or network by simulating an attack on it, sometimes called ethical hacking or white hat hacking.

Rick Howard: Example sentence: Bishop ran a small security consulting company who ran penetration tests for his clients.

Rick Howard: Origin and history: the phrase started to appear in U.S. military circles in the mid 1960s as timesharing computers became more necessary for daily operations. Computer security experts from Rand Corporation began describing computer compromises as penetrations. By the early 1970s, government leaders formed tiger teams of penetration testers to probe for weaknesses in various government computer systems.

Rick Howard: In the beloved hacker movie "Sneakers" that debuted in 1992, Bishop, played by the Academy Award winner Robert Redford and his team conducted a penetration test against the Centurion Bank by leaving a smoke bomb in a safety deposit box and intercepting the fire alarm signal coming out of the bank through the underground phone lines in the street. The alarm automatically opens the banks fire doors to allow people in the bank to escape the fire. Bishop and team enter the bank, compromise a teller terminal and transfer one hundred thousand dollars to a personal account.

Movie dialogue: "So people hire you to break into their places to make sure no one can break into their places?" "It's a living." "Not a very good one."