Who is The Father of Computer Security?

August Kerckhoffs is considered the father of computer security. He is a linguist and German professor at HEC, Paris.

Source: Wikipedia

Why is he known as the Father of Computer Security?

August Kerckhoffs published many research papers on computer security without mentioning modern cryptography. He laid the foundation of modern cryptography by performing extensive research work on encryption. Specifically, He wrote an essay (Title: Military Cryptography) in the Journal of Military Science in February 1883.

Six Principles of Practical Cipher Design

He recommended six principles for designing ciphers and cryptosystems that include:

  1. Try to create a system practically unbreakable, although it may be theoretically breakable.
  2. Cryptosystem should remain secure until the key is safe. In other words, knowing the system's design should not compromise the system's security until the key is safe. This principle is also called Kerckhoffs's principle.
  3. Applicable to telegraph communication
  4. secrets must be remembered without using written notes
  5. The design of a cryptosystem should be simple and there should be no need for a lot of manpower.
  6. Cryptosystems should be easy to operate and not use difficult processes to know by users.

He suggested achieving security by publishing details of the design of cryptosystems and ciphers.


August Kerckhoffs is known as the father of computer security. He recommended open discussion on the design of the system so that if security issues exist, they will be revealed. He is not recommended in achieving any security through obscurity.

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