Hashing and Message Authentication: A Talk on “Ethical Hacking”
As we thrive to improve our teams’ programming skills in order to better serve our clients, we have started inviting technology leaders in our community and those visiting Rwanda, to come and lecture on topics that are, of critical expediency, today. It was in this regard that last Friday, the WiredIn teams were fortunate enough to host Mr. Howdy Price, a software engineer, tech entrepreneur, and the co-founder of Cardinal Peak, a 100+ person software engineering company based in Colorado U.S.A, that designs and builds products in the audio/video and IoT markets. Mr. Price holds a B.S. in Mathematics and Professional Writing from Carnegie Mellon University and is currently a visiting instructor at CMU-Africa, in Kigali, Rwanda. Mr. Price’s lecture was on “Hashing and Message Authentication”, and the lecture revolved around the need for software engineers to put thinking about security at the forefront of their planning and designs.
At WiredIn, this topic occupies a very important place as this is a key requirement that often comes up with many of our clients, who are not looking at only a working application and robust application, but one that will give them the confidence that their customers’ data and access are secured following security and privacy best practices. So staying current on this kind of topic is very important to us.
The lecture was referred to as “Ethical Hacking”, understanding how hackers have managed to take over whole systems and customers login credentials by taking advantage of known theoretical weaknesses in some of the widely used Hashing Functions. For instance realizing that the SHA-1 function has had known weaknesses since 1998, and that by 2017 this Hashing function had already been broken, would make our engineers think twice before using it again in securing some of our clients’ most critical software applications.
As the first of many, we are planning a once-a-month lecture, on leading technology topics of the day.