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From: mea culpa (jerichoat_private)
Date: Fri Sep 11 1998 - 13:10:40 PDT

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    Forwarded From: blueskyat_private
    September 8, 1998
    Pentagon may want 3G spectrum for protection
         By Jeffrey Silva
    WASHINGTON —About a year after the Clinton administration created a
    special panel in 1996 to assess potential threats to telecom networks and
    other critical infrastructure, the Pentagon conducted a top secret
    exercise—code named ‘‘Eligible Receiver’’—that found national security
    vulnerability far greater than what the U.S. government previously had
    In his new book, The Next World War, author James Adams reports senior
    U.S.  officials were stunned at the degree to which Eligible Receiver
    exposed wireless and wireline networks, power grids, banking and financial
    operations and other vital support systems to sabotage. 
    ‘‘Eligible Receiver was a real shock to us all,’’ a Pentagon official told
    Adams. ‘‘It should have been a wake-up call, but as so few people know the
    details, I’m not sure who has heard the alarm and what they’re doing about
    Adams, a defense journalist who recently resigned as CEO of United Press
    International to launch a defense consulting firm, said Eligible Receiver
    proved beyond doubt that an ‘electronic Pearl Harbor’ was possible. 
    ‘‘It was so easy to do. That’s the frightening thing,’’ Adams told RCR in
    a recent telephone interview. 
    The rise of information warfare, which Adams said began in earnest with
    the 1991 Persian Gulf War, has implications for government spectrum use in
    the next century. 
    Vital communications links, according to Adams’ book, have led some in the
    U.S. military to ‘‘believe that future wars will be fought and won by
    those who control the electronic spectrum and who can deploy smaller
    forces packing bigger punches with fewer punches.’’
    Indeed, the book said operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, among
    other things, required 7,000 radio frequencies, 1,000 miles of land links,
    12 combat communications squadrons and 29 million calls. 
    Carriers and manufacturers want a huge new swatch of spectrum for
    third-generation mobile phones, but the Pentagon’s heavy reliance on
    high-tech in the post-Cold War era could make it difficult to get the
    agency to surrender any more frequencies to the private sector. 
    With Eligible Receiver now having leaked out after being kept under wraps
    by the joint chiefs of staff, the Pentagon appears anxious to draw
    attention to cyber-attack threats ostensibly in hopes of securing more
    support from Congress and the private sector. 
    ‘‘Yes, there was an exercise. We need to be increasingly concerned that
    all segments of society and all key infrastructure are dependent on
    information and information systems and increasingly vulnerable to attacks
    on it,’’ said Susan Hansen, a Pentagon spokeswoman. 
    Hansen said the Pentagon knows from being hacked itself that ‘‘our systems
    are recognizable targets.’’
    The harsh and sobering reality of U.S. vulnerability to cyber attacks came
    out loud and clear in the October 1997 report to President Clinton from
    Retired Air Force Gen. Robert Marsh, chairman of the Presidential
    Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection. 
    Since the report’s publication and President Clinton’s critical
    infrastructure executive order in May, new units have been created in DOD,
    the FBI, the Justice Department and the Commerce Department to oversee and
    guard against attacks on the national information infrastructure. 
    John Hamre, deputy Defense secretary, is the Pentagon’s point man on
    critical infrastructure protection, while Michael Vatis runs the FBI’s new
    National Infrastructure Protection Center at its headquarters here. 
    Richard Clarke, meanwhile, has been tapped national coordinator for
    security, infrastructure protection and counter terrorism. 
    Until now, little attention has been paid to such threats. Indeed, the
    advice the Network Reliability and Interoperability Council—headed by AT&T
    Corp. Chairman C. Michael Armstrong—gives to the Federal Communication
    Commission is limited to technical fixes and prevention against outages. 
    The private sector is partnering with federal agencies in the fight
    against cyber attacks, but already there are signs that friction over
    costs and privacy—the same hot button issues that dominate digital wiretap
    and encryption debates—will challenge the mission. 
    In addition, according to Adams, government infighting has accompanied the
    development of critical infrastructure protection policy. 
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