Re: [iwar] Difference between IW and RA and Comp Sec etc

From: Ross Stapleton-Gray (
Date: 2001-04-10 21:23:39

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Date: Wed, 11 Apr 2001 00:23:39 -0400
Subject: Re: [iwar] Difference between IW and RA and Comp Sec etc
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At 09:06 PM 4/10/01 -0700, you wrote:
>A reasonable question might be, how many people with screw drivers will
>it take to cause serious harm to the US? I suspect that doing it the way
>you are talking about will be infeasible for almost any adversary.

I'm not talking about, say, a state-sponsored attack, as much as just 
wondering what happens if we experience sufficient disruption as to cause 
people to generally start pilfering from their neighbors... think incidents 
where, say, copper wiring is being looted for scrap for cash for booze 
(used to happen all the time in Detroit... one would occasionally see a 
story about a guy trying it, for the last time, on a live high-tension 
line).  We've an economy like a finely-balanced flywheel, which could wreck 
itself if given a bad shove.

>I think that the real threat lies elsewhere - in people that can come to
>understand the way infrastructure works and place their screw drivers in
>the right set of places to do large-scale harm at small-scale cost.  This
>is a far more complex issue.

I agree with this, e.g., the threat posed by a thousand minimally-screened 
techs working in the bowels of all the telcos, any one of which might be 
bought or blackmailed, into either pilfering data (imagine what one could 
do with a month's worth of call records from the 212 or 202 area codes, 
with a little data mining and some other databases to mush into the mix), 
or queueing up logic bombs.


Ross Stapleton-Gray                     TeleDiplomacy, Inc.                    2503 Columbia Pike, Suite 118
                                         Arlington VA 22204            +1 703 685-5197 / 5257 fax

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