North American Network Operators Group

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Re: Points of Failure (was Re: National infrastructure asset)

  • From: ray
  • Date: Tue Sep 25 15:01:21 2001

> I know it's difficult to refrain from comment, but let's try to remember
> that the bad guys read this list too.  While they may not have the knowledge
> of critical communication infrastructure points, they can certainly find and
> target them if we point them in the right direction.

I'd actually argue the opposite.  It's difficult to face this, but we know
we ARE vulnerable.  The important long term solution is that we need to
address our weaknesses.  By acknowleding where the critical points are,
AND PLANNING TO DEAL WITH THEIR LOSS, we make the system that much harder to

It's burying of our heads in the sand that caused the problem in the
first place (the WTC bombing, that is).  People thought it would be
easier to pretend terrorists would never figure something like this
out, than asking if 'feel-good' measures with no real substance were
worth bothering with.

> This pertains not only to our side of the ponds, but to overseas as well.
> We all know where the 'soft targets' of our infrastructures are located -
> let's keep it to ourselves or, at the very least, within small private
> discussion groups where everyone knows everyone and not on the public list.

While I'd agree that there's no reason to constantly advertise the problems,
it's in free and open discussions that the best solutions are often found.
Groups of known members have a tendency to fall into patterns, missing the
same holes and making the same mistakes.  The more open the group, the more
likely any solutions will solve the general case instead of focusing on
the same details and missing others.  (Granted, it's also more likely that
discussions will fall into petty bickering, but hopefully we're all motivated
enough to come back to looking at the real problem)