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Re: The Backhoe: A Real Cyberthreat?

  • From: Randy Whitney
  • Date: Thu Jan 19 14:21:01 2006

"Inflict[ing] terror by killing people" is not the only tactic
terrorists use. Attacks can be anything from a SPAM flood to a
DDoS attack to taking down dozens of servers or routers utilizing
known vulnerabilities. Targets can be bridges, buildings, etc. and
don't necessarily result in loss of life. Disrupting communications
channels is a common tactic used to attack the "enemy", so keeping 
a close eye on and protecting key communications infrastructure is 
a valid goal.

Further, It doesn't take "dozens" of backhoes nor dozens of sites
to cause a significant disruption. Imagine if 60 Hudson and 111 8th
were to go down at the same time? Finding means to mitigate this
threat is not frivolously spending the taxpayer's money, IMO;
although perhaps removing fiber maps is not the best way to  
address this.

On Thu, Jan 19, 2006 at 12:51:00PM -0500, Robert Boyle <> wrote:
> At 12:01 PM 1/19/2006, you wrote:
> This is really stupid. Assuming the terrorist actually have the 
> dozens of backhoes needed to completely erase meaningfull internet 
> connectivity in north america, they would probably prefer to use them 
> to smash cars and kill people on the interstate highways or something.
> >Terrorist inflict terror by killing people, not by forcing internet 
> >explorer to display "page cannot be displayed".
> >
> >Let us not assume that murderous terrorist are as dumb as people in DHS.
> Agreed. However, if you disappear now, we'll know why! :P
> -Robert
> Tellurian Networks - The Ultimate Internet Connection
> | 888-TELLURIAN | 973-300-9211
> "Well done is better than well said." - Benjamin Franklin

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