Who first formulated communication security in terms of the "man in the middle" attacks?

I am writing a book on the history of computing and communications.

The earliest source I have so far is:

Larsen, Gerald H. “Software: A Qualitative Assessment, or The Man in the Middle Speaks Back.” Datamation 19 (November 1973): 60-6.


1 Answer 1


After a couple minutes in Google, I find that Leslie Lamport appears to be the first to talk about MitM analysis in terms of communication security.

The work was published in 1981, but there is evidence of his thoughts on the matter as early as 1979.

First published work describing the ideas: here.

  • I saw that update in live time @schroeder :-) Link to the paper added here and in a few other places kirkins.github.io/Cyber-Crime-Micro-Course/links.html Commented Nov 22, 2019 at 18:09
  • Have a source to the Datamation journal? I can't find one. I have a suspicion that it is not what the OP says it is
    – schroeder
    Commented Nov 22, 2019 at 18:13
  • No, not much use to me unless their is an online version. I ended up here because I'm looking for commons ways MiTM was used in the early days of the internet before HTTPS was popular. 1973 is probably to far back for me. Commented Nov 22, 2019 at 18:16
  • Whoa ... I'm seeing academic articles that are quoting this answer (without reference).
    – schroeder
    Commented Nov 22, 2019 at 18:20
  • Sorry, I will link it Commented Nov 22, 2019 at 18:22

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .