[LINK] NBN secure against Cyberwar?

Tom Koltai tomk at unwired.com.au
Sat Oct 17 15:05:45 AEDT 2009

> -----Original Message-----
> From: link-bounces at mailman1.anu.edu.au 
> [mailto:link-bounces at mailman1.anu.edu.au] On Behalf Of Tom Worthington
> Sent: Friday, 16 October 2009 10:53 AM
> To: Link list
> Subject: [LINK] NBN secure against Cyberwar?
> "Cyberdeterrence and Cyberwar" (Martin C. Libicki) is a RAND 
> report for the US Airforce which details the difficulties of 
> dealing with attacks on military and civilian computer 
> infrastructure: <http://www.rand.org/pubs/monographs/MG877/>.
> This prompts me to ask how secure the NBN will be against 
> attack. Apart from cyberattack, there is the issue of the 
> effect of electromagnetic pulse (EMP) from a  nuclear 
> explosion or e-bomb. 


>It might be prudent to spend a few billion more to make sure the NBN is

>reasonably secure against attack.  One nuclear explosion high in the 
>atmosphere could be enough to disable the Australian telecommunications

>network for several years. Fibre networks are more resistant to EMP
>copper networks and some small extra expenditure on the NBN could make 
>it much more resilient.

In this regard, I have also been giving this subject some consideration.

Tom, the NBN repeaters unfortunately have VLSI based Solid State
Transistors switching.
As do the Digital switches at each end. So short of turning every
building in Australia into a Faraday Shield enclosed monstrosity 
(ala LINX at the docklands in London) the only other alternative is to
build vacuum valve laser transponders and switchgear.

I do however note there is a booming trade in second hand Yaesu FT100
(Valve) radios on the Net. 

Possibly the backup to the NBN needs to be a VHF Valve radio model.

Sounds ridiculous, but any country that knew Australia was outfitted
(exclusively) with Valve based CPE would think twice before wasting a
high altitude EMP device.

They would probably be too busy laughing and feeling sorry for us.

And if we weren't all connected via valve CPE then corralling just the
server farms and Government institutions (Albeit saving the valuable
government data) would still leave the country essentially incommunicado
with each other. So one without the other hardly seems worthwhile.

On the other hand, we could just consider that any country thinking of
invading us can do so via tourism and immigration and doesn't have to
resort to WMD.

I really don't believe that our resources alone are sufficient for
anyone to place us on the top 50 hitlist.

My solution?

Lets NOT waste the taxpayers money on anti EMP'ing the NBN and with the
money we save let's send everyone lots of flowers, so they think nice
thoughts of us. 


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