Security Lessons from the Battle of Hoth

Someone has analyzed the security mistakes in the Battle of Hoth, from the movie The Empire Strikes Back.

EDITED TO ADD (2/27): A series of rebuttals.

Posted on February 26, 2013 at 1:38 PM • 16 Comments


Romeo VitelliFebruary 26, 2013 2:29 PM

Dunno, Vader seems to have learned the one great lesson for people in command, I.e., always find a scapegoat.

thmFebruary 27, 2013 2:05 AM

It's strange, I could never watch these movies more than 10 minutes. I've always had difficulty to understand the passion so many people seem to have for them.

ItsNotRealFebruary 27, 2013 7:25 AM

I think that someone is making the mistake of confusing Sun Zu with Hollywood. Its a simple mistake to make, but to tell the difference, the first wrote the Art of War, and the second make War in to an Art Form.

TSFebruary 27, 2013 8:24 AM

"and the second make War in to an Art Form"

Art? Maybe in a very few films. For the most part, hollywood made war a plot device, not much more. Accuracy not required since it's just a means of getting characters together or apart.

paldubeeFebruary 27, 2013 8:37 AM

The dark forces will always make mistakes and be defeated because they are driven by pride, greed, lust, etc. etc.

paldubeeFebruary 27, 2013 4:26 PM


"Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last.”

Jesus Christ (Luke 13:30)

mixing up my fictional charactersFebruary 27, 2013 10:12 PM


"Jesus Christ (Luke 13:30)"

Are you saying Luke Skywalker was Jesus Christ?

Nick PFebruary 28, 2013 12:51 AM

@ paudubee and mixing up my fictional characters

"Immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming upon the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a trumpet blast, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other. "Learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its branch becomes tender and sprouts leaves, you know that summer is near. In the same way, when you see all these things, know that he is near, at the gates. Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. " (Matt 24:29-35)

How many chances must we give them? I still haven't read Bruce's Liars and Outliars. I wonder if he lists faith as a security risk. It can subvert reason and turn people into zealots for causes, some horrendous. If it has a fair treatment of religion, it's probably in there.

R^2March 2, 2013 4:28 PM

The whole discussion about Hoth would have been moot if the Death Star engineers had properly configured their port security.

Once they obtained the Death Star blueprints from Princess Leia, Rebel hackers were able to devise an attack within hours. It was a 0-day vulnerability that was exploited within hours.

It wasn't until the Rebel attack already started that Imperial engineers bothered to perform a proper security audit -- something they should have done years earlier.

General Bast: We've analyzed their attack, sir, and there is a danger. Should I have your ship standing by?

Governor Tarkin: Evacuate? In our moment of triumph? I think you overestimate their chances.

Talk about poor incident handling.

Instead, the Empire relied on ray-shielding that was inadequate to stop even a single proton torpedo.

"Security: wrong you're doing it."

Leave a comment

Allowed HTML: <a href="URL"> • <em> <cite> <i> • <strong> <b> • <sub> <sup> • <ul> <ol> <li> • <blockquote> <pre>

Sidebar photo of Bruce Schneier by Joe MacInnis.