When I was in college, I took a number of computer science courses. This was before the world changed with PHP, Java, Ruby, or pick your language of choice. Fortran and Pascal ruled the University circuit. Rules and discipline were required. For assignments, you were often tasked to build a program to accomplish a certain task. After a professor reviewed one of my early efforts, he looked over his glasses and said, “This is an incredibly inefficient program that really shouldn’t work.” To which I replied, “The assignment didn’t say anything about efficiency. You only asked for the program to solve a problem.”
Next time, he presented clearer instructions. Still, I was always amazed he could recognize my programs without seeing my name in the code. Coding is like poetry. All writers, no matter the language, leave fingerprints behind. Last month, WikiLeaks released a trove of CIA Hacking Documents. Many of these vulnerabilities have since been closed (update your OS often, not to protect yourself from the CIA but everyone else). I haven’t looked at the code or software, but I am curious if the government has a signature. What patterns or stories did they leave behind?