Information Warfare: October 26, 2002


NASA has always had the most enlightened and capable attitude towards its cyberwar vulnerabilities. With over 120,000 computers on the net, they have a lot to be concerned about. As hacker attacks have increased over the past few years, and a growing number of vulnerabilities are found in Internet software, NASA managers noted that system administrators were unable to keep up with all the required patches to their servers. There was simply too much work for too many people. This was a common situation with government computer systems, since civilian firms can offer better pay and management than the government can. But NASA decided to take an engineers approach to the problem (NASA management has long been dominated by engineers who worked their way up the ranks.) A more thorough hack attack reporting system was installed and the different attacks were ranked by frequency. NASA then ordered their beleaguered systems administrators to concentrate on patching the 24 most common vulnerabilities. In the last two years, there have four lists of the "24 most common vulnerabilities" and NASA kept score of which of it's ten field offices got their systems patched first (to add a competitive angle.) As a result, NASA has some of the most secure computers in the entire U.S. government. But NASA is one of the few government agencies with a lot of technically trained people in management and it's uncertain if the NASA approach can be used elsewhere. 


Article Archive

Information Warfare: Current 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close