David Albright, Paul Brannan, and Christina Walrond
22 December 2010, Preliminary Assessment
Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS)
Phi Beta Iota: US Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) computer systems are still on the Internet and still very vulnerable to internal and external interference, as well as the standard 50% “errors and omissions” that come with sloppy computer work so characteristic of US vendors. Many sounded the alarm in 1990 (Winn Schwartau, Peter Black) through 1994 (Robert Steele, various field grade officers at the Air War College) but no one wanted to listen. The US is as close to a complex melt-down (political-legal, socio-economic, ideo-cultural, techno-demographic, natural-geographic) as we have witnessed in our lifetime.
Although other papers have been written since then, the three “originals” in the author’s view are Major Gerald R. Hust, “Taking Down Telecommunications”, School of Advanced Airpower Studies, 1993); Major Thomas E. Griffith, Jr., “Strategic Attack of National Electrical Systems”, School of Advanced Airpower Studies, 1994; and H. D. Arnold, J. Hukill, and A. Cameron of the Department of the Air Force, “Targeting Financial Systems as Centers of Gravity: ‘Low Intensity’ to ‘No Intensity’ Conflict”, in Defense Analysis (Volume 10 Number 2, pages 181-208), 1994.