Monday, August 24, 2009

Another Episode of Security Anecdote Theater

It's been a while, but while vacationing in Texas I was inspired to write a new installment of Security Anecdote Theater for you.iStock_000001796802XSmall

In the early days of the Republic of Texas, President Sam Houston felt that Austin wasn't an appropriate capital and wanted his namesake city of Houston to become the new capital of the young republic.  Houston claimed that Austin's isolated, western location was insecure, and that Houston would be a much more appropriate seat of power.  Austin's real hold on power was the fact that it held the government archives.  When persuasion failed to win the cause, Houston resorted to sending armed thugs a military unit to Austin to steal retrieve the archives under cover of darkness.  They quickly loaded the archives into AEberlywagons, and might have gotten away- but for innkeeper Angelina Eberly.  Mrs. Eberly  discovered the men loading the wagons- she knew she couldn't stop them, so she ran to the town cannon and fired it off ("ventilating" the Land Office building in the process), thus alerting the townsfolk.  The alarmed and alerted citizens of Austin rallied and chased down the escaping men and wagons, retrieved the archives, and secured Austin's role as capital of Texas.

Sometimes all you can do about a problem is fire the town cannon- now we just need to work on getting the "townsfolk" to respond quickly and decisively when we raise alarms in Information Security...