The phrase is well-known and widely used, it is often attributed to Bruce Schneier and is indeed relevant to his Schneier's Law. However, I wasn't able to find this specific wording among Schneier's publications.

Is there any single author of the phrase, or was it just collectively generated as a convenient "meme" version of the Schneier's law?

  • $\begingroup$ I am not sure if the non-technical questions like this are suitable for the site and it has also been flagged as subjective. I'll close if it indeed doesn't fit the site. $\endgroup$
    – rkiyanchuk
    May 10, 2019 at 6:54
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ There are well-received questions asking about the origin of the names for ciphers and permutations, so this could very well be on-topic. However I'm also pretty confident that this term doesn't come from any one publication. It's just the natural way to describe Schneier's Law. $\endgroup$
    – forest
    May 10, 2019 at 7:37
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ FWIW, the earliest instance of "never roll your own cryptography" (or any other close variant I tried) that I could find via Google is from the online article "Make your software behave: Everything to hide" by Gary McGraw and John Viega, published on ibm.com on May 1, 2000. That at least establishes an upper limit on the origin date. The article cites Schneier's Applied Cryptography, so that might indeed be the original source of that particular phrasing. $\endgroup$ May 10, 2019 at 8:52
  • $\begingroup$ @IlmariKaronen Thanks for the source! I checked my Applied Cryptography PDF and it doesn't seem to have this exact wording either. So Gary McGraw may indeed be the first one who coined the phrase in this particular form :) $\endgroup$
    – rkiyanchuk
    May 10, 2019 at 8:56
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @zoresvit Send an email and ask him! $\endgroup$
    – forest
    May 11, 2019 at 2:15


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