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Re: The Backhoe: A Real Cyberthreat?

  • From: sgorman1
  • Date: Thu Jan 19 16:30:43 2006

Agree that a level of security is required, but the real value is in customers like banks knowing where their fiber is, so when they lease service for a back up provider they know it is not in the same ditch.

The article attribute the pro regulation quote to me, but actually it was out of context.  I was proposing that you need an anonymous secure data pool that cusomers could qery to see what providers for a set of buildings are diverse. The mathematics to do the diversity optimization are available just an issue of data. 

----- Original Message -----
From: Jeff Shultz <>
Date: Thursday, January 19, 2006 3:42 pm
Subject: Re: The Backhoe: A Real Cyberthreat?

> Jerry Pasker wrote:
> > 
> >> While it is always fun to call the government stupid, or anyone 
> else 
> >> for that matter, there is a little more to the story.
> >>
> >> - For one you do not need a backhoe to cut fiber
> >> - Two, fiber carries a lot more than Internet traffic - cell 
> phone, 
> >> 911, financial tranactions, etc. etc.
> >> - Three, while it is very unlikely terrorists would only attack 
> >> telecom infrastructure, a case can be made for a telecom attack 
> that 
> >> amplifies a primary conventional attack.  The loss of 
> communications 
> >> would complicate things quite a bit.
> >>
> >> I'll agree it is very far fethced you could hatch an attack 
> plan from 
> >> FCC outage reports, but I would not call worrying about attacks 
> on 
> >> telecommunications infrastructure stupid.  Enough sobriety 
> though, 
> >> please return to the flaming.
> > 
> > I agree with you on all points except the one you didn't make.  
> :-)
> > 
> > The point is:  What's more damaging?  Being open with the maps 
> to 
> > EVERYONE can see where the problem areas are so they can design 
> around 
> > them? (or chose not to) or pulling the maps, and reports, and 
> sticking 
> > our heads in the sand, and hoping that security through 
> obscurity works.
> > 
> The people who have the problem areas should already know about 
> them and 
>  be designing around them. I'm sure that Sprint, for example, 
> knows 
> very well where backhoes have gone through it's fiber. Although it 
> sounds like they may not know where all their fiber is... <sigh>
> Joe Schmuck down on 2nd Street doesn't need to know about the 
> problem 
> areas and his input would likely be unwelcome.
> And no security or amount of redundancy is likely to be perfect - 
> and 
> these companies are in business to make money after all.
> Obscurity is not the entire answer. But it should be part of it.
> -- 
> Jeff Shultz

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