Information Warfare: January 8, 2000


The Pentagon and the military's Office of Personnel Management announced that they shut down many military web sites over the New Year's holiday weekend to avoid having them targeted by hackers. The Veterans Administration and Social Security mailed benefits checks a few days early and sent electronic deposits a day early, just in case there was a Y2K problem with the banks. Health & Human Services Secretary Shalala said that there was no indication that the American people were hoarding drugs, so there were no shortages. Federal officials were satisfied that the 911 emergency system would function, but warned citizens to locate the telephone numbers to call the police, fire department, or an ambulance directly. Telephone company officials continued to remind people not to pick up their phones (or call 911) "just to check" as this would overload the system. Government computer analysts said that most of the computer glitches would be overseas, as the US had made the most progress to eliminate the Y2K problem. Government officials were, frankly, more worried about cyber attacks than the failure of the computer networks. The UN said it closed its offices early on 31 Dec and kept them closed through 4 Jan while experts tested the computer systems. --Stephen V Cole


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