Posted by: tristar3research | April 26, 2009

Partitioned from the Internet? Just Plain Cut-Off

How an infrastructure attack provided an early warning signal regarding our information technology vulnerability. Maybe Senator Rockefeller and other sponsors of the ill-advised “CyberSecurity Bill” should be warned that a further centralization broadens the vulnerability.

Getting Cutoff from Your Network

Getting Cutoff from Your Network

Bruce Perens reported: Just after midnight on Thursday, April 9, unidentified attackers climbed down four manholes serving the Northern California city of Morgan Hill and cut eight fiber cables in what appears to have been an organized attack on the electronic infrastructure of an American city. Its implications, though startling, have gone almost un-reported.  That attack demonstrated a severe fault in American infrastructure: its centralization.

The city of Morgan Hill and parts of three counties lost 911 service, cellular mobile telephone communications, land-line telephone, DSL internet and private networks, central station fire and burglar alarms, ATMs, credit card terminals, and monitoring of critical utilities. In addition, resources that should not have failed, like the local hospital’s internal computer network, proved to be dependent on external resources, leaving the hospital with a “paper system” for the day. Commerce was disrupted in a 100-mile swath around the community, from San Jose to Gilroy and Monterey. Cash was king for the day as ATMs and credit card systems were down, and many found they didn’t have sufficient cash on hand. Services employees dependent on communication were sent home. The many businesses providing just-in-time operations to agriculture could not communicate.

At least Bruce is an Open Source champion…

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