Thomas Van Vleck is a time-sharing and computer security pioneer. As a user he worked with MIT’s Compatible Time-Sharing System (CTSS) and MULTICS as a MIT student prior to helping to design enhancements (including security enhancements) to the MULTICS system first as a technical staff member at MIT and later on Honeywell-MULTICS as a technical staff member and manager at Honeywell. The interview discusses the security issues/risks on CTSS that resulted in modest changes (password protection) to CTSS and influenced the far more extensive security design elements of MULTICS. His long association w/ MULTICS in both the MIT and Honeywell setting provides unique perspective on the evolution of MULTICS security over the long term. He also briefly discusses his post-Honeywell career working on computer security as a manager at several other firms.
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1116862, “Building an Infrastructure for Computer Security History.”