Truth About Computer Security Hysteria
A trick question: did FBI NIPC fail its mandate?
Thursday, 20 September 2001
THE CRITICAL U.S. air transportation infrastructure lies in shambles. A hundred thousand workers may receive pink slips in the coming weeks. The Post Office curtailed its use of aircraft for mail delivery. Experts predict a wave of bankruptcies & liquidations will sweep across the air industry. Travel agencies as we know them today may very well cease to exist.
(Bear with me. It leads to computer virus hysteria.)
The critical U.S. financial infrastructure lost four days of stock trading when the World Trade Center imploded. Insurance claims will create a cash-flow vacuum deep within the reinsurer sub-industry. The Federal Reserve injected nearly $200 billion into the banking system after the disaster, and they lowered interest rates, to help steer the U.S. away from a recession.
The collapse of the twin towers severely impacted emergency services in the New York City region. Hundreds of firefighters & policemen lost their lives. It destroyed dozens of fire trucks, not to mention ambulances & patrol cars. The bi-state Port Authority lost its most prized facility.
A story in Information Week warned "most critical network hubs in lower Manhattan switched over to diesel generators when a power outage began [after the World Trade Center attack]. Internet access and some telephone communications may further deteriorate in the metropolitan New York area unless restrictions on the delivery of diesel fuel are lifted."
To put it bluntly: multiple critical infrastructures suffered when the World Trade Center imploded.
This fact leads us to once again critique FBI's National Infrastructure Protection Center. Their website declares:
Theoretically, FBI NIPC should have protected critical infrastructures from Osama bin Laden. Realistically, they only wanted to protect the Internet from Osama bin Virus...
I detailed this anomaly one month before disaster struck.
NIPC's mission is to serve as the U.S. government's focal point for threat assessment, warning, investigation, and response for threats or attacks against our critical infrastructures. These infrastructures, which include telecommunications, energy, banking and finance, water systems, government operations, and emergency services, are the foundation upon which our industrialized society is based.
Hmmm. Terrorists whacked our "telecommunications, energy, banking & finance, water systems, government operations, and emergency services." It forces us to ask a trick question: did FBI NIPC fail its presidential mandate?
Answer: "yes and no." Yes, FBI NIPC failed its mandate — but they never really followed their mandate to begin with. The agency only wanted to protect the Internet from Osama bin Virus. I detailed this anomaly one month before disaster struck.
Great job, guys. America desperately needs your Code Red press conferences and your Nimda alerts. We just don't get enough of it from the antivirus industry, you know. Now stop sifting through the rubble for evidence. We need you to sit in front of your computers...