I was an early 1980s Internet hacker. Let me explain why "Bugtraq" is probably the most important achievement in the world of cybersecurity. https://twitter.com/attritionorg/status/1350206109617975303
Most of what you know of the 1980s hacking scene wasn't Internet, but "phone phreaking" and "BBSs". I don't know much about those things. I was an Internet hacker instead -- on the net since back before DNS was a thing (when 'hosts.txt' was distributed by hand).
By the late 1980s, computers from Sun Microsystems were a big deal. Yet, Sun (and other manufacturers) were immune to notifications of vulnerabilities. Issues had to be handle by tech support, and if you didn't have a support contract, you didn't matter.
Here's the thing, the Big F***ing Thing: hackers don't have a support contract. Sure, given one set of assumptions, it's pointless fixing bugs that customers aren't complaining about. But it's the wrong set of assumptions.
The culture of 1980s Internet hacking was trading vulns, exploits, and textfiles. We'd get some from friends, and exchange them with other people to get more. Examples were the SMTP DEBUG and Finger exploits. We'd hack into computers without the victim's knowing how.
So vendors ignored vulnerability reports. This encouraged Robert Tappan Morris to demonstrate the fallacy of that thinking. He wrote a "worm" that would exploit the vulns, then target other random machines on the Internet and exploit the vulns on those, too.
So I walked in to the computer science center early one morning in November 1988 and spent the next several days battling the worm. One thing I tried was what's now called a "tarpit", which held open the connection, delaying the worm.
After the Morris worm, DARPA established the CERT/CC -- the Computer Emergency Response Team / Coordination Center. The idea was CERT would guard against future occurrences of such worms.
But it was a complete failure. They were still ignoring vuln reports, trying to cover them up and suppress them rather than getting vendors to fix them. We hackers were still trading vulns in the underground, causing mayhem that CERT couldn't see.
Then in 1993, the Bugtraq mailing list appeared. This was before the web as we know it, so there was no website where we could publish such information. A mailing list was used instead.

Hackers published vulns and exploits to the mailing list for everyone to see.
Then in 1995 SATAN was published -- a tool that collected vulns/exploits from Bugtraq into a tool that could be aimed at a victim to take it over.
This is the time of "script kiddies", those with little expertise or understanding who simply downloaded the "scripts" posted to Bugtraq in order to hack into systems.
This all sounds very bad, full of chaos, but here's the thing: vendors started paying attention and fixing vulns, even when notified of the problem by somebody who wasn't a customers.
All this is an application of Kerckhoff's Principle from the 1880s about cryptography. The solution to vulnerabilities is not to cover them up but expose them. This is the "full disclosure" movement -- bugs must be disclosed, even if it helps the adversary. And it must be public.
Todays in the 2020s we see the opposite attitude from leading Internet companies (Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, Google, etc.). Instead of covering up vulnerabilities, they provide bounties for people to expose them. Even the Pentagon does this.
Bugtraq itself hasn't been important for almost 20 years, but that's simply because it won. We are all Bugtraq now.
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