Some SSL History

Wasn’t sure where to ask this, but I figured there’d be lots of knowledgeable people here, so here goes:

I heard a story once that when Mark Shuttleworth sold Thawte to VeriSign, he had to tear his house apart trying to find the floppy disk that contained the private key for his root cert. This story is just so funny that it has to be true, but I can’t find any reference to it and I’ve forgotten who originally told it to me. I’d like to use it in a paper I’m writing, but need to first get a good reference to it.

Has anyone else ever heard this? Anywhere I can find a reference to confirm?

Did you get an answer? If you find out, would you please let me know?


I unfortunately haven’t received an answer. I think I remember someone fairly credible telling me this a few years ago, although I don’t remember exactly who it was.

I wanted to use the story for something I’m writing. I need an example of something that has a very high value, but is protected by very simple and rather ineffective low-tech solutions eventhough better methods exist. Any other ideas?

You mean like houses with huge and fancy deadbolts on the front door, and fairly flimsy locks on all the other doors?