It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

The U.S. is still using floppy disks to run its nuclear program

page: 2
8
<< 1   >>

log in

join
share:

posted on May, 26 2016 @ 01:03 PM
link   
a reply to: trollz

I have some passing familiarity with cyber security indirectly.

The idea that our ballistic missiles and nuclear bombers are managed by ancient computer systems that still use floppy disks is reassuring to me.

That they use floppy discs mean that they are not generally IP network connected, and most likely the hardware, chips included, were manufactured in the USA.

There is very serious and mostly classified concern about deep on-the chip hardware sabotage or backdoors. A recent public paper showed a test example of an exploit using very subtle means for a backdoor. Just by some decisions in the chip layout, a certain operation of the regular chip could, by electrostatic induction on a capacitor which just happened to be physically nearby could, with repeated hits (in this case repeated division by zero) trigger a backdoor to open up security.

This would never be detected by any scans and even looking at the logical layout and simulations the exploit would never have been found.

The primary vector of concern is the transition from US-based chip design firms to the fabrication factories in Taiwan and China. So even a Cisco secure router with 100% audited software code (it isn't) written by people with security clearances could be subtly backdoored. Hitting a router with just the right sequence of packets might subtly open something else up.

There was some government discussion about 10 years ago and then suddenly everything went dark: to me that is a sign of serious concern and classification.




posted on May, 26 2016 @ 01:19 PM
link   
Several years ago I did a job for a company that uses a fleet of tanker trucks to haul different chemicals. They had a computer program that tracked each one of their tankers and what they carried. The main purpose for the program was to assign a tanker to each cargo. If it had previously carried the same chemical there was no problem, but, if it had hauled something different then the program specified what had to be done to the tanker(decontamination, cleaning, neutralizing the previous cargo) to allow it to haul the new cargo. This program was custom written for them and had been thoroughly tested. This program ran on DOS. It would have taken years to have it re-written for a newer operating system and certified. He was running it on a 486 computer. After fixing his computer, we looked on line, and bought several 486 computers, spare hard drives, RAM and power supplies. He is still using the program and is on the third of the ten computers that we bought.



posted on May, 26 2016 @ 01:29 PM
link   
I worked for a company about 6 years ago that had all of the computers at the remote locations running windows NT. None of them ever crashed, never had to be updated, communicated the way they were supposed to without any error. They're probably still running on NT to this day. You'd be surprised by how many little companies or big companies rely on old software and technology.



posted on May, 26 2016 @ 02:29 PM
link   
a reply to: amazing

NT was pwned quite some time ago. You might be able to get away with it now....but i suspect that any obsolete windows operating system since 95 wouldn't last if connected to the internet.



posted on May, 26 2016 @ 02:55 PM
link   

originally posted by: bigfatfurrytexan
a reply to: amazing

NT was pwned quite some time ago. You might be able to get away with it now....but i suspect that any obsolete windows operating system since 95 wouldn't last if connected to the internet.


But they weren't connected to the internet, just an isolated network. point A to Point B, C, D, F and E. In that case they could last centuries!



posted on May, 26 2016 @ 03:09 PM
link   
have you seen how small a wifi trancever is?
you can put one in a USB stick! or a hard drive.

You can Not trust high security with the new tec.

I smash't the screen of my high tec mobile xperia.
I had a look in it. 90% of the weight is the battery.
the electronics is so small it is unbelievable.
like some kine of alien tec!

meaning you can hide ANY thing high tec in some thing very small.
its just the power supply. it needs a lot of it.
you can NOT trust the new high tec.

you think having the best firewall helps?
NO! as they could have a Tiny second computer in it with its own wifi.



posted on May, 26 2016 @ 04:51 PM
link   
a reply to: bigfatfurrytexan

The good old days when you had to take a razor blade to etch off your mistakes when copying.



posted on May, 26 2016 @ 05:07 PM
link   
a reply to: buddha

WiFi adapters still need to connect to an actual wifi equipped router on a local network that's connected to the Internet. You can't just plug in a WiFi adapter to any old computer and connect to the Internet.
edit on 26-5-2016 by GetHyped because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 26 2016 @ 05:11 PM
link   
a reply to: amazing

yup. that is correct. its a nice, stable OS if you are using some older machines with low end graphics.

A few years back i plugged in an old tandy that I had from the 80's. I remember when that particular computer was new tech, employing the most up to date specs and abilities. it was the radio shack computer that ran ms dos instead of trs dos, and i remember as a kid having hours of fun playing games on it like kings quest, leisure suit larry, and the first version of madden. it had a cga graphics card and operated at a blistering 4mhz.

i donated the computer and peripherals to someone, as i had gotten it for free a a decade ago. but growing up we played a lot of games on the tandy 1000.



posted on May, 26 2016 @ 05:43 PM
link   
Ah good ol' mainframes, I remember when every company had one.
IBM hardware, IBM operating system software, IBM virtual machine hypervisor, IBM database, IBM disk drives, IBM printers, IBM network controllers, IBM email software. If something went wrong there was only one phone number you needed to call.

IBM pretty much ruled the world, and could have been the world leader in IT until today, but sadly they lost the plot, don't get me started.

Then things "improved", we are told, we got our very own personal computers on our desks, a mickey mouse operating system, had to deal with at least a half a dozen different vendors, oh yes and let's not forget Viruses. Gee thanks. So then we had to buy Anti-virus software as well. Oh and many hours searching for device drivers that actually worked. Discovered that rebooting the computer several times a day was a good way to operate. Every time a new employee joined the company we had to buy a new computer and then pay for and install its own copy of the Operating System. Then soon discover that those cretinous users were actually having the temerity to save their data onto their own hard drives, and how are we supposed to back them all up then? And after that we had to get MCSE qualifications, and of course there is no way that IT could possibly function without a thing called Active Directory. (in fact IT had functioned quite adequately without it for about 40 years but I guess we aren't allowed to mention that). And if a vendor did actually send someone along to look at a problem you could bet your house that it would be a recent graduate with an MCSE who claimed to be an expert in all things IT. Yeah right. Oh and then virtual machines and hypervisors were apparently the next big and excitingly wonderful thing...... errr wrong.... I created my first virtual machines on an IBM mainframe in 1980.

So yes folks, that's progress.

Just don't confuse 'Newer' with 'Better'

For sure, better does exist, but it's pretty hard to find when cost and user-friendliness are so often the main factors driving both the decision makers and also the companies selling the stuff.

SIgh.



posted on May, 26 2016 @ 05:49 PM
link   
a reply to: trollz

CNN was nipped by 60 minutes by a few years!

Ars Technica - April 28, 2014 - 60 Minutes shocked to find 8-inch floppies drive nuclear deterrent

Many industries use older tech because it works and it is too costly to replace. Some even have rules stating that their IT department CAN'T have cutting edge software or hardware. The actual 60 Minutes story is a good watch. I can tell you that some companies just let things run until they die. Some get around this by virtualizing the offensive older tech.

I worked in a hospital where the print server was on Win95. It crashed one day. Nobody knew where it was. They rebooted the desktop computer which was lying on a shelf in the server room. Nobody knew what it was so the computer was never touched! After reviewing the boot log it had been running for 395 days before it crashed! Nobody could believe it! Win95 is known for cashing. Even MS says it should be rebooted every 30 days at most. In the end they left it there after putting a sticker on it with it's server designation and a note stating: DO NOT POWER OFF! Guess who was tasked with rebooting the thing during the maintenance window? Hehe



posted on May, 27 2016 @ 12:03 AM
link   


The idea that our ballistic missiles and nuclear bombers are managed by ancient computer systems that still use floppy disks is a little scary... There's the whole "if it ain't broke, don't fix it", but then according to this report, it would've been roughly 3 times cheaper to modernize these systems.


There's significant advantages to using out of date systems, one of the biggest is that fewer people know how to use them.



posted on May, 27 2016 @ 12:09 AM
link   

originally posted by: NewzNose
a reply to: bigfatfurrytexan

The good old days when you had to take a razor blade to etch off your mistakes when copying.


I preferred the old days when you could rewire computer chips by writing on them with a pencil.

Old tech is wonderful.

That said, sticking with the old proven technology for our nuclear arsenal is wise on several levels.



posted on May, 30 2016 @ 05:12 AM
link   

originally posted by: Aazadan
There's significant advantages to using out of date systems, one of the biggest is that fewer people know how to use them.
And in this case, how many people have 8 inch floppy drives to be able to write a substitute 8 inch floppy? Not many. If it used a USB port everybody could write something that could be put on USB memory, so I think the 8 inch floppies aren't such a bad idea.



posted on May, 30 2016 @ 06:35 AM
link   
They're Shugart 8" double density floppy drives with a SASI interface. IIRC they're interfaced with a parallel port, but it's been a long time since I fooled with one.

I wrote a driver for someone for one of these back when I was in college, it's pretty simplistic to talk to.



posted on Jun, 2 2016 @ 12:57 PM
link   

originally posted by: GetHyped
That's why a lot of large corporations are still using mainframes from the 60's and 70's in critical areas.


Large corporations are using modern mainframes which have some software compatibility with systems extending back to 60's and 70's. The chips in these are all modern CMOS and use high-performance hard drive & SSD arrays, not 14-inch "Winchester" 30 megabyte hard drives.

Just as PC's today have some software compatibility extending back to early 80's DOS.
edit on 2-6-2016 by mbkennel because: (no reason given)

edit on 2-6-2016 by mbkennel because: (no reason given)




top topics



 
8
<< 1   >>

log in

join