Barry Schrager, who has a M.S. in applied mathematics from Northwestern University, is a seminal figure in the design and development of early commercial computer security software products. From 1968 to 1978 he served as Assistant Director of the University of Illinois-Chicago Circle Computer Center, where activity of student hackers on the center’s time-shared system led him to investigate methods and tools to achieve greater security. In the early 1970s he became involved with IBM SHARE, and led a committee of emerging computer security experts – SHARE’s Data Security and Management Group. Schrager and his group’s 1974 SHARE white paper defined access control requirements to achieve security, which led to IBM’s 1976 computer security software product, Resource Access Control Facility (RACF). Initially this product fell short of the requirements outlined in the white paper and Schrager and a colleague, Eberhard Klemens, developed a prototype Access Control Facility (ACF) which met the requirements. In 1978 these two teamed up with Scott Krueger to found SKK, Inc. and refine this computer security software product as ACF2 for its first customer London Life Insurance (Ontario, Canada). Soon thereafter SKK sold this product to General Motors and many other major corporations/organizations. ACF2 became a billion dollar product that is now owned by Computer Associates. This oral history concentrates on Schrager’s work with SHARE, the creation of ACF2, and his leadership of SKK, Inc.
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1116862, “Building an Infrastructure for Computer Security History.”