Security Through Obscurity

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What Does Security Through Obscurity Mean?

Security through obscurity (STO) is a process of implementing security within a system by enforcing secrecy and confidentiality of the system’s internal design architecture. Security through obscurity aims to secure a system by deliberately hiding or concealing its security flaws.

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Techopedia Explains Security Through Obscurity

STO is based on the idea that any information system is secure as long as security vulnerabilities remain hidden, making it less likely that they will be exploited by a malicious attacker. Obscurity means keeping the underlying system’s security loopholes a secret to all but the most important stakeholders, such as key developers, designers, project managers or owners. Typically, a hacker’s approach in exploiting a system begins with identifying its known vulnerabilities. If there is no public information on those weak areas, hackers will find the system more difficult to penetrate and will eventually delay or postpone its malicious objective.

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Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor
Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.