It’s Star Wars Day. And that means celebrating the fall of the Empire and the Rebel’s victory, short-lived as it might have been, of the Alliance. But while we often focus on the Jedi’s use of the Light Side and the military tactics of the Rebels, we forget that their strategic and tactical victories came because of their skills as master hackers. And if you’ve not seen any of the Star Wars movies, spoilers follow!
#1 The Malicious Insider
In Rogue One we were introduced to Galen Erso, the father of one the story’s heroine, Jyn Erso. Galen is the ultimate insider threat. He’s ideologically opposed to his bosses, highly skilled and very motivated.
It’s little wonder he ended up designing a massive, flying deathtrap!
#2 Unsecured system access
Seriously, the Empire are pretty dumb aren’t they? R2-D2 has been around the empire for decades, causing mischief. And his main mode of operation is always the same; find a data port, plug-in and steal whatever data he wants.
In other words, the Empire had poor system authentication processes and didn’t secure themselves against a longtime adversary who always attacked them the same way.
#3 The trash compactor
One of the most famous scenes in A New Hope was when Luke, Leia, Chewbacca and Han were trapped in the trash compactor on the Death Star. It’s a classic IoT situation where a remote device, that seems innocuous can be exploited.
#4 Authentication and terminal access
It seems that whenever a rebel walks up to a terminal, they can see all sorts of data and then do almost whatever they want.
It might be convenient to not have log-ins and let everyone system access everything but it’s a recipe for disaster if someone sneaks in the front door.
#5 Do you even crypto?
Even in our far flung corner of the universe we know about encrypting data when it’s at rest and in-flight. The ease with which the Rebels access the Empire’s data is laughable.
A few others…
There are lots of other security lessons to learn from the Star Wars saga. Social engineering and credential theft by Han and Chewbacca when they fly their stolen shuttle, poor risk assessment when the flaw introduced by Galen Erso is dismissed, and the use of a SIEM/AI system that could have pieced together all the different log entries that the Rebels would have triggered to detect the threat and escalate it could have delivered a far different outcome.
Are there any other security lessons we can learn? Share them in the comments.