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RE: Vulnerbilities of Interconnection

  • From: Brad Knowles
  • Date: Fri Sep 06 17:29:14 2002
  • Reply-by: Wed, 1 Jan 1984 12:34:56 +0100

At 2:01 PM -0700 2002/09/06, Jeff Shultz wrote:

 Said tube electronics were apparently more survivable against EMP
 effects. Or was that the point you were making? I think the real
 surprise was a toggle switch that Belenko said was supposed to be
 flipped only when told over the radio by higher headquarters. It
 changed the characteristics of the radar.... sort of a "go to war" mode
 vs. the standard training mode.
I wouldn't be too surprised. The Patriot has a clock problem, and can't be left turned on for an extended period of time. There are plenty of military systems everywhere in the world that have various operational issues that may not materially reduce their effectiveness in their official role, but which may make them less suitable for other roles.

 An interesting, if not totally professional evaluation of something
 like this is in Steven Coonts book "America" where terrorists take over
 an American nuclear submarine armed with a new type of Tomahawk warhead
 - an EMP warhead. One of the early targets is AOL HQ in Reston, VA., (I
 almost cheered).
These things exist. I would be more concerned about drive-by attacks with HERF (High Energy Radio Frequency) guns, capable of generating an EMP field that can wipe out RAM on any computer device that is not suitably protected (Tempest shielding or being in a SCIF?). These things can be made relatively portable and undetectable until such time as they are turned on -- unlike nuclear devices that can be detected by Geiger counters, etc.... A drive-by with a van would be a lot easier to organize than hi-jacking a nuclear-equipped submarine.

BTW, AOL headquarters is in Sterling, not Reston. It's not that far away, so I can understand why people not from that area would not be aware of the difference.

 Coonts has an inflated idea of what an outage there would do the the
 internet... but there is a lot of other stuff fairly nearby, isn't
What do you mean by "nearby"? Do you count the "TerraPOP"? Do you count Langley?

Brad Knowles, <>

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary
safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
-Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania.

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