1998-05-19 - NSA & y2k

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From: Information Security <guy@panix.com>
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: 9ef416364759a13fbc88efb6e9ef100f0da770a922cec812b8f2d3f32867bce5
Message ID: <199805191542.LAA10584@panix2.panix.com>
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UTC Datetime: 1998-05-19 15:42:59 UTC
Raw Date: Tue, 19 May 1998 08:42:59 -0700 (PDT)

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From: Information Security <guy@panix.com>
Date: Tue, 19 May 1998 08:42:59 -0700 (PDT)
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: NSA & y2k
Message-ID: <199805191542.LAA10584@panix2.panix.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain


>  From owner-ignition-point@majordomo.pobox.com Tue May 19 10:29:02 1998
>  Subject: IP: NSA concerns could hamper DOD Y2K fix

Source:  Federal Computer Week

 NSA concerns could hamper DOD Y2K fix

 BY BOB BREWIN (antenna@fcw.com)
 HEATHER HARRELD (heather@fcw.com)
 DANIEL M. VERTON (dan_verton@fcw.com)

 The National Security Agency has slapped a security blanket on the
 Pentagon's efforts to fix the Year 2000 millennium bug, which could further
 slow the Defense Department's already-behind-schedule Year 2000 fixes.

 NSA has determined that all information detailing DOD's computers and its
 efforts to fix the Year 2000 problem are a "national security interest" and
 "highly sensitive." As a result, the Pentagon has cut off the military
 and DOD project offices from the Defense Integrated Support Tool (DIST)
 database, which the Defense Information Systems Agency maintains to
 provide details on all DOD computer systems and interfaces for use in
 planning and deployment.

 DIST, according to DISA, is a database of some 9,000 DOD systems that
 the department uses to track such key areas as system interfaces, compliance
 with high-priority standards, interoperability testing, consolidation
goals and
 Year 2000-compliance planning. DIST was seen as critical to the Year 2000
 problem because it provides a central source of information about interfaces
 between different DOD systems, which is a chief concern of Year 2000
 conversion efforts.

 DOD began using DIST to track Year 2000 compliance in August 1996, and
 a Dec. 19, 1997, memo from the Office of the Secretary of Defense to DOD
 chief information officers identified DIST as the "central, authoritative
 database for tracking resolution of the Year 2000-related problems for
 systems throughout the department."

 That aggregation of extensive details about Year 2000 problems with DOD
 systems poses a threat to national security, according to NSA.

 "The DOD's Y2K conversion effort is a national security interest," NSA
 reported in a statement supplied to FCW. "All information detailing these
 information systems and the progress being made toward their conversions is
 considered to be highly sensitive."

 DOD is not trying to cover up information about its Year 2000 efforts, a
 DOD spokeswoman said. "We couldn't hide what we're doing if we wanted
 to, and we certainly don't want to," she said. "The idea is to move these
 along at the fastest possible clip but not to jeopardize other security
 as we do it."

 While industry and service sources said they could understand NSA's security
 concerns, they said the classification could hobble the Pentagon's
 already-delayed Year 2000 remediation efforts. One former high-ranking
 DOD official described the classification issue as symptomatic of what he
 called the Pentagon's "gross mismanagement" of Year 2000 issues.

[snip of 90 lines]

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