Truth About Computer Security Hysteria
Pentagon retreats from Internet again — this time to stop kamikaze pilots
Friday, 14 September 2001
VICTIMS IN TUESDAY'S Pentagon attack died with a secure Internet connection at their fingertips. Hurray.
The U.S. military's "overzealous digital security makes up for their lax physical security," I moaned in a recent column. "It'll probably take a USS Cole-like event before cross-eyed commanders visualize the real security issue," I predicted one month ago.
Hey, guess what? Somebody put a gaping hole in the Pentagon just like they did with the USS Cole. My prediction came true all too soon. I wish I could call it hyperbole, but I can't.
So! How did our fighting force react when a kamikaze pilot slammed into the throne of U.S. military power? Why, they once again retreated from the Internet as a precaution. And I'll bet they updated their antivirus software, too. (Better safe than sorry!) They'll bury each victim — and each computer — with full military honors. Hurray.
Some readers will (correctly) question how lax physical military security contributed to a civilian airline crash. It didn't. Yet the effect is the same: terrorists ripped a gaping hole in the Pentagon, proportionate to the hole they ripped in the USS Cole. This latest knee-jerk retreat leads me to believe our military will suffer another physical act of terrorism before cross-eyed commanders visualize the real security issue.
Real terrorists couldn't care less about computers. They want to kill people, not electrons. Perhaps a burning fuselage blocks the Pentagon's view of the obvious?
The U.S. military's "overzealous digital security makes up for their lax physical security," I moaned last month.