The Environmental Threat. The world is a dangerous place for our computers, which face several
Natural Events: Tornadoes, floods, windstorms, rain, snow, and earthquakes.
Fire: A fire will bum your building, your computer and your floppy disks. The sprinkler system
will get what the fire doesn't.
Power: If the power goes out, your computer won't work. If lightning hits the power line, the
"power surge" will "fry" your computer.
Temperature Extremes: The units which took PCs to Saudi Arabia on Operation Desert
Shield/Desert Storm experienced temperature extremes of 125 degrees or more. In this heat,
some computers don't work very well!
The Foreign Intelligence Threat. Although there is very little hard evidence of actual or attempted
computer espionage, we cannot assume that no attempts have been made.
Dr. Brotzman, the former Director of the National Computer Security Center (NCSC), believes that U.S.
computers are too lucrative a target for foreign intelligence agencies to ignore. Dr. Brotzman
commented, "Considering how must fun the bad guys could have on U.S. computers, if they ain't
having at them, they're a lot dumber than we think they are."
The foreign technical threat: We live in a computer world. We can easily imagine highly-
trained, technical agents of other countries using state-of-the-art computers to break into US
The foreign HUMINT threat: Foreign intelligence agencies are not limited to using only
"technical" means to attach US computers. They will use all means of attack, to include
traditional methods of espionage and subversion.
The Human Threat. The basic threat to Army computers is the human threat; most computer security
problems are human-related.
The thief: The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) estimates that the annual cost of computer-
related crime in the US is somewhere between
.5 billion and billion. The National Crime
Information Center reports that more than 137,000 PCs, worth more than 4 million, were
stolen in 1986.
The "hacker." The media has made the most of the exploits of "hackers;" teen-age whiz kids
equipped with a PC and "having a little harmless fun." In the hacker ethic, "any weakness in an
Automated Data Processing (ADP) system can and should be exploited." However,
"technological trespassing" into a U.S. defense-related computer goes beyond "harmless fun."
The authorized user. Hackers, tornadoes, and foreign intelligence may be the least of our
worries. It is said that we all know computer thieves, because we work with them. For example,
disgruntled employees sometimes sabotage computers. However, the biggest threat comes
from employees who have no intention of committing a crime. Through accident or