Ubiquitous Insecurity? How to “Hack” IT Systems

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Michael Näf


Information & Security: An International Journal, Volume 7, p.104-118 (2001)


Information systems vulnerability; hacking; hackers; IT-security; critical societal infrastructure.


There are several important obstacles to IT security: there is no direct return on investment, time-to-market impedes extensive security measures, and security mechanisms often have a negative impact on usability. On the other hand, today’s IT systems are undeniably very vulnerable and users—regardless of their profession or position—need to be aware of IT security to some degree. One way to create this awareness is to demonstrate the vulnerability of currently used IT systems. The article shows various examples of “hacking” techniques along with a few statements on the causes of the currently experienced “ubiquitous insecurity,” some security-related perspectives for the future, and a number of general suggestions on how to increase security in our networked world.