CyberOODA OriginalUncategorized

And you wonder . . .

. . . why certain agencies flat-out refuse to connect to warfighter networks:

John Schoonover, who worked for the Department of Defense on one of the largest network deployments in history during Operation Enduring Freedom was “witness to a huge lack of IQ points” in a senior manager.

According to Schoonover, military INFOSEC installations generally follow a concept termed “the separation of red and black.” Red is simply data that has not been encrypted yet. (Danger, the world and sniffers can see you!) Black is the same data after it has been encrypted and is now ready to traverse the world. “These areas [red and black] are required to be separated by a six foot physical gap,” Schoonover says.

Our hero proceeds to follow these guidelines and deploys the network, but comes back from lunch one day to find the firewall down. Investigation shows that a senior manager “had taken the cabling from the inside router and connected to the Internet for connectivity, thus bypassing all firewall services, encryption, and oh yeah, that’s right the entire secure network with a jump straight to the Internet!”

Why is it that whenever I hear about all these grandiose plans to IP-ize troops so that the great squad leader in the sky can see what is going on from the grunt’s eye view, I think that connectivity at all costs, not connectivity-with-security, is going to win out. I wonder . . .

Michael Tanji

Michael Tanji

Michael Tanji spent nearly 20 years in the US intelligence community. Trained in both SIGINT and HUMINT disciplines he has worked at the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, and the National Reconnaissance Office. At various points in his career he served as an expert in information warfare, computer network operations, computer forensics, and indications and warning. A veteran of the US Army, Michael has served in both strategic and tactical assignments in the Pacific Theater, the Balkans, and the Middle East.