[ISN] U.S. attack: Defense Department's nets unaffected by terrorist assault

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Wed Sep 12 2001 - 22:46:43 PDT

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    By Bob Brewin, Computerworld 
    September 12, 2001 4:19 am PT
    DEFENSE DEPARTMENT COMMAND and control networks continued to function
    normally despite Tuesday's terrorist attack against the Pentagon,
    according to officials at Worldcom, which operates the global Defense
    Information Systems Network (DISN), handling all military
    communications traffic from unclassified to secret.
    State Department networks also continued to function normally, the
    WorldCom officials said.
    Broadband and voice service in the New York-Washington area also
    continued to function but was stressed by higher volumes of traffic,
    according to Mark Marchand, a spokesman for Verizon of New York, the
    telephone carrier that serves both cities.
    Marchand said call volumes were running twice their normal level.
    He added that the attack on the World Trade Center in New York and the
    subsequent collapse of the two buildings destroyed a number of
    high-speed switches and circuits in the basement of the building.
    Verizon Wireless service in the New York and Washington areas
    experienced the same network congestion as the company's wired
    networks, Marchand said.
    WorldCom lost 200 DS-3 circuits that run through the basement of the
    World Trade Center and carry commercial traffic, according to Diana
    Gowen, the Washington-based vice president of WorldCom of Jackson,
    Miss. But, Gowen added, since WorldCom runs its network on SONet
    (synchronous optical networks), traffic was automatically routed
    around the damaged circuits. Gowen emphasized that all the service
    carried by those circuits has been restored.
    Sprint also reported traffic disruptions caused by the collapse of the
    towers on 27 DS3 circuits and switches housed in the basement.
    Sprint all but evacuated its Washington office, according to spokesman
    James Fisher, although the evacuation was on a voluntary basis. Fisher
    said, "We're right across the street from the FBI building. ... No one
    really wants to stay here."
    Gowen said that the global DISN "was unaffected by the attack", saying
    that "our fiber [is] in another wing of the Pentagon" from the west
    wing, which collapsed shortly after the attack. Army Lt. Col. Stephen
    Barger, a spokesman for the Oahu, Hawaii-based Pacific Command,
    confirmed this assessment, saying the command has experienced no loss
    in connectivity to its DISN data circuits.
    WorldCom is responding to a request from the Defense Department to
    re-route some "800" number voice traffic from the Pentagon to
    alternate locations, Gwen said. The department is studying the
    possibility of moving some functions of the National Command Center --
    the computerized operations center of the military -- to an emergency
    command post operated by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) in
    Mt. Weather, W.Va., according to knowledgeable sources, as well as to
    another secret, alternative command center in Virginia.
    Gowen said the State Department's worldwide networks, also operated by
    WorldCom, continued to operate normally, despite the attacks.
    After the attacks, the military stepped up its security posture. The
    U.S. Pacific Command's Barger said PACOM has put all its forces --
    which operate from the U.S. West Coast to Japan -- on "ThreatCon
    Delta," which he described as the "highest level of security." This
    includes ID checks at all gates to military installations and the
    search of any potentially suspicious vehicles.
    The Norfolk, Va.-based U.S. Joint Forces Command, has also heightened
    its security posture, though the command did not detail the level. The
    Air Force's Air Combat Command based at Langley Air Force Base, Va.,
    has also gone to a higher readiness level and has "increased security
    in the interest of protecting people and equipment," according to
    command spokesman Col. Jack Ivy.
    "Communications without intelligence is noise;  Intelligence
    without communications is irrelevant." Gen Alfred. M. Gray, USMC
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