dslreports logo
site
 
    All Forums Hot Topics Gallery
spc

spacer




how-to block ads


Search Topic:
uniqs
821
share rss forum feed


DarkLogix
Texan and Proud
Premium
join:2008-10-23
Baytown, TX
kudos:3

2 recommendations

Floppies are security.

»arstechnica.com/information-tech···terrent/

seems the military are using 8in floppies to secure the launch of ICBM's
I wonder do that have some test that confirms the data on them is still intact? Or is it just a form of sneaker-net to move some bit of data between two critical systems?
--
semper idem
1KTzRMxN1a2ATrtAAvbmEnMBoY3E2kHtyv



Blackbird
Built for Speed
Premium
join:2005-01-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Frontier Communi..

Each formatted floppy data sector should have a header (and at the end of the sector's data strip) that contains a cyclic redundancy check that lets the disk controller detect errors. So if the data were "fading" on the magnetic medium from age or damage, it should be immediately detectable; otherwise, it's as good as any other media for its intended purpose. And that all ignores whether there are independent error-detection/correction features or backup techniques incorporated into their overall system as well.

As far as just what kind of data is on the floppy or what it's specific purpose might be, you're not apt to find that out without a veriified need-to-know.
--
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money. -- A. de Tocqueville



DarkLogix
Texan and Proud
Premium
join:2008-10-23
Baytown, TX
kudos:3

1 edit

said by Blackbird:

As far as just what kind of data is on the floppy or what it's specific purpose might be, you're not apt to find that out without a veriified need-to-know.

Ya I meant more like is it used as a form of key or is it an app.

as for the reliability, those are 8inch floppies, I only ever saw an 8in one at a science fair, I've used 5.25 and 3.5 but wow 8in

I would figure it might be hard for them to get replacement media and drives as they ware out, though maybe they have some procedure for putting the disks in and having some data check read and rewrite all the data to counter fading and check for media breakdown

why not a metal punch card system? then the cards wouldn't age and you wouldn't have any fade.

if its a key then considering the very small amount of data that can fit on a 8in floppy there's likely a number of other ways that could give better security.

Regardless of what is on them the security by obscurity of using 8in floppies is busted now, as a hacker could atleast try to find a 8in drive somewhere, if they're good hack it to use USB and put it in a briefcase with a small computer (maybe a tablet, or a rasberyPI, ect) of course there would still be the issue of getting access to the floppy but this would mean they might have more knowledge of gear needed to make the attack silent

where as a metal punch card could be made extremely hard to duplicate.

--
semper idem
1KTzRMxN1a2ATrtAAvbmEnMBoY3E2kHtyv


ashrc4
Premium
join:2009-02-06
australia
reply to DarkLogix

Maybe they are an easily shrebable medium and harder to conceal.


dave
Premium,MVM
join:2000-05-04
not in ohio
kudos:8
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

3 recommendations

reply to DarkLogix

"Very small amount of data" -- pah. I was once part of a team that built a gateway to SNA that booted off an 8" floppy. If you can't implement an OS, dual protocol stacks, and RJE emulation station in half a megabyte, you should stick to using a slide rule.



DarkLogix
Texan and Proud
Premium
join:2008-10-23
Baytown, TX
kudos:3

I mean compared to the smallest flashdrive you can currently buy from a normal vendor.

Heck I bet you can get more on a chip in a smartcard.
--
semper idem
1KTzRMxN1a2ATrtAAvbmEnMBoY3E2kHtyv


dave
Premium,MVM
join:2000-05-04
not in ohio
kudos:8

I know, I was just doing the get-off-my-lawn thing.



Dustyn
Premium
join:2003-02-26
Ontario, CAN
kudos:11
reply to DarkLogix

Click for full size
That 8in disk has a wide slot to fill.


vaxvms
ferroequine fan
Premium
join:2005-03-01
Wormtown
kudos:3
reply to DarkLogix

RX02 connected to a PDP. Operating system, executable program and data file all on that single floppy. Maybe even the source code for the program.



Blackbird
Built for Speed
Premium
join:2005-01-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Frontier Communi..
reply to DarkLogix

said by DarkLogix:

... as for the reliability, those are 8inch floppies, I only ever saw an 8in one at a science fair, I've used 5.25 and 3.5 but wow 8in

I would figure it might be hard for them to get replacement media and drives as they ware out, though maybe they have some procedure for putting the disks in and having some data check read and rewrite all the data to counter fading and check for media breakdown

why not a metal punch card system? then the cards wouldn't age and you wouldn't have any fade.

if its a key then considering the very small amount of data that can fit on a 8in floppy there's likely a number of other ways that could give better security.

Regardless of what is on them the security by obscurity of using 8in floppies is busted now, as a hacker could atleast try to find a 8in drive somewhere, if they're good hack it to use USB and put it in a briefcase with a small computer (maybe a tablet, or a rasberyPI, ect) of course there would still be the issue of getting access to the floppy but this would mean they might have more knowledge of gear needed to make the attack silent

where as a metal punch card could be made extremely hard to duplicate.

Minuteman III was deployed in 1970. Much of the C&C console and computer rack hardware/software was deployed a decade earlier with Minuteman I and II. Most of this stuff long pre-dates desktop computers and accessories. Aging of the floppies isn't necessarily a problem... they just create another fresh copy in the appropriate way. The launch crews do enough readiness drills that a failing floppy will be discovered very quickly. Given the government's pattern of over-kill in stockpiling their resources, I doubt seriously if "running out" of 'new' floppies is a real-world problem for a strategic weapon system of this magnitude. Moreover, the system as-is has well-established operational reliability... changing the data-entry scheme & hardware at this late date would require a weapons-program mod and upgrade dollars, however few, that are most likely harder to come by in a down-sizing, disarmament-oriented world than spares/replenishment dollars. It's simply how things work in the world's largest bureaucracy...

As far as security (by obscurity or anything else), that's not a consideration for why they're still using 8" floppies... they're simply what the design and the related procedures originally called for. Ponder that the B52, still serving in first-line combat readiness, began entering AF service in 1955... that's nearly 60 years ago... and was put on the drawing board immediately after WWII ended. While some of the headline-capturing weapons systems are all glitz and state-of-art and StarWars-like, many of the real workhorse systems are remarkably old.
--
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money. -- A. de Tocqueville


sivran
Opera ex-pat
Premium
join:2003-09-15
Irving, TX
kudos:1

1 recommendation

said by Blackbird:

Ponder that the B52, still serving in first-line combat readiness, began entering AF service in 1955... that's nearly 60 years ago...

"It may not be you're father's Air Force, but it just might be your GRAND-father's plane!"


--
Oh, Opera, what have you done?


Boooost

@24.190.184.x
reply to DarkLogix

I used 8" floppies on PDP-11 based debugging systems in the 1980s.



Boooost

@24.190.184.x
reply to DarkLogix

quote:
CBS 60 Minutes correspondent Leslie Stahl expressed surprise that part of the computer system responsible for controlling the launch of the Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles relied on data loaded from 8-inch floppy disks.
Would they feel better if the launch computers were connected to the Internet and running Microsoft or Google software? Maybe programmed by Facebook coders?




"The Important Field"


DarkLogix
Texan and Proud
Premium
join:2008-10-23
Baytown, TX
kudos:3

said by Boooost :

Would they feel better if the launch computers were connected to the Internet and running Microsoft or Google software? Maybe programmed by Facebook coders?

You know what I bet that some of the media type would LOL

As for me I'd rather it use Bio-metrics, smart cards, and require a 2 person activation and 3 person deactivation from 5 total isolated rooms so it'd be impossible for one person to launch a nuke.

so it'd be something like the following
1. insert correct smart card (of a set of 7 per station, you'd have to respond to a displayed code with the proper card)

2. Place both hands on full hand high res high detail scanners that would include 3d mapping of your fingers and every detail of your hands

3. stare into a retina scanner with both eyes

4. wait while it draws some blood and checks DNA

5. enter in the target, if the other person fails to enter in the same target or fails any of the requirements it'd lockdown for 1 hour and alert people to come arrest you for trying to wrongfully launch a nuke

6a. (in the event of failure) during the lockdown a nuke would be launched at Mark Zukerberg's current location

6b. (in the event of success) you would have a timer start and if it's desired to be canceled 3 people would have to follow the same procedure but in 3 different rooms and those first 2 rooms would remain locked.
--
semper idem
1KTzRMxN1a2ATrtAAvbmEnMBoY3E2kHtyv


Drunkula
Premium
join:2000-06-12
Denton, TX
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to DarkLogix

There was only one machine I used that had dual 8" floppies. Can't remember the maker but it was a microfiche printer I had to "program." Run the job on the mainframe and output to the microfiche printer. Submit the job right and the printer would automatically store the "program." The program simply extracted job information from the job banner and format the header of the fiche so that it was human readable without using a microfiche viewer. It had dual drives for media redundancy.
--
There are 10 types of people that understand binary numbers. Those that do - and those that do not...



dennismurphy
Put me on hold? I'll put YOU on hold
Premium
join:2002-11-19
Parsippany, NJ
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to dave

said by dave:

"Very small amount of data" -- pah. I was once part of a team that built a gateway to SNA that booted off an 8" floppy. If you can't implement an OS, dual protocol stacks, and RJE emulation station in half a megabyte, you should stick to using a slide rule.

2216?


antdude
A Ninja Ant
Premium,VIP
join:2001-03-25
United State
kudos:4

1 edit
reply to Boooost

I have never used 8" floppy disks. I never saw and knew they existed until I saw them in high school since I grew up with 5.25" floppy disks. Woah.


dave
Premium,MVM
join:2000-05-04
not in ohio
kudos:8
reply to dennismurphy

DX24



Blackbird
Built for Speed
Premium
join:2005-01-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:3
reply to dennismurphy

I always preferred the 1460 with the bamboo core... it was my "standard" until the SR-50 came out.



dennismurphy
Put me on hold? I'll put YOU on hold
Premium
join:2002-11-19
Parsippany, NJ
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

1 recommendation

reply to dave

said by dave:

DX24

I should've known that ... We've discussed your background before.

VMSforever.

dave
Premium,MVM
join:2000-05-04
not in ohio
kudos:8

Nah... 11M.