To: RISKS@SRI-CSLA.ARPA I have had several queries about risks in the civil sector concerning electronic emanations from and electronic interference upon computer systems and networks -- and of course also about what can be done to protect oneself or one's company. For example, Martin Lee Schoffstall
Emanations and interference in the civil sectorSaltzer@MIT-MULTICS.ARPA <Jerry Saltzer> Fri, 4 Oct 85 18:02 EDTTo: Neumann@SRI-CSL [in response to a query] Concern for Electromagnetic Compatibility is indeed beginning to become an important design consideration in consumer products. These days, TV sets are beginning to clean up their act, but the average FM tuner just can't cope with being in a substantial RF field. As consumers start to collect a walkman, TV, cable converter, FM tuner, stereo amplifier, VCR, CD player, cordless phone, remote control light switches, microwave oven, and garage-door opener under one roof, more and more people are becoming aware of the problems, and discovering that some manufacturers didn't put the right effort in.
Administrivia -- Escaped Mail and DelaysMark S. Day <MDAY@MIT-XX.ARPA> Thu 3 Oct 85 20:07:38-EDT[ Excerpted-From: Soft-Eng Digest Sat, 5 Nov 85 Volume 1 : Issue 34 ] XX was a victim of Hurricane Gloria; it had multiple head crashes when it was restarted after the storm. The heroic efforts of the staff here brought the machine back to life after a marathon of restoring files, which unfortunately left the alias for this list in a strange state. Instead of going into my mailbox, everything sent to "Soft-Eng" was immediately redistributed. Fortunately, only one message got out between the time XX came up and the time I noticed the problem. Anyway, sorry for the difficulties. No doubt this will now appear in the RISKS mailing list as an example of an unreliable computer system... [SURE. WHY NOT??!! Recovery and reinitialization are a vital part of keeping a system running properly. How many times have you put in a patch or fix only to find that it somehow disappeared, e.g., not surviving a crash or not getting propagated back into the source code? But in this case you got left in an unsafe state! PGN]
Computer databases<Andy_Mondore%RPI-MTS.Mailnet@MIT-MULTICS.ARPA> Sat, 28 Sep 85 16:20:46 EDTOne topic I have not seen discussed here is that of computer databases. I am Systems Coordinator for the Registrar's Office here so I am in charge of a fairly large database containing (obviously) student grade and course information as well as addresses, demographic information, etc. I'd like to see a discussion of the risks of having incorrect information in a database, information being seen or accessed by the unauthorized individuals, etc. Thanks. [Ah, yes. This is a wonderful topic. The state of the art of database management systems that can handle sophisticated privacy/compromise and data integrity problems is rather abysmal. However, the risks of people gleaning information by drawing inferences from a database are considerable. For starters, see Dorothy Denning's book, Cryptography and Data Security, Addison Wesley, 1982. As to risks, Software Engineering Notes has had a bunch of stories on the effects of misuse or mininterpretation of police data. The Air New Zealand catastrophe was an example of what can happen if a change is not propagated properly. As always, contributions are welcome. PGN]
Re: Friendly test teamsJohn Mashey <mips!mash@glacier > Sat, 28 Sep 85 22:31:18 pdtIt might be good to ask for pointers to published data on bug histories, effort levels, robustness in large hardware/software systems. I suspect these may be hard to find for SDI-like systems; I couldn't dig up any old Safeguard info. Although not in the same class of difficulty, ATT's new #5 ESS switch is fairly complex (300+ engineers). A good reference is: H.A. Bauer, L.M. Croxall, E.A. Davis, "System Test, First-Office Application, and Early Field Experience", ATT Technical Journal, vol 64, No 6, Part 2 (Jul-Aug 1985), 1503-1522.
Re: CRTs again, solution to one eye-problemBrint Cooper <abc@BRL.ARPA> Sun, 6 Oct 85 12:59:18 EDT[We started out keeping one eye on this problem, but it does not want to stay out of sight. Will this be the last message? PGN] A cheaper but similar solution was suggested by my opthalmalogist when I attained that stage of life wherein my arms are too short. Since I needed a small, positive correction (about +1.0) in each eye, I purchased, at his suggestion, "reading glasses" from the local pharmacy for about $12.00. Since then, my eyes have worsened a little and I need about +1.25 to +1.5 diopters for reading. But this is too strong for the terminal (an AT&T 5620 with rather small font), so I retained the old +1.0 diopter lenses for the terminal at work. At $12.00 each, I can afford to have a pair at the office, a pair at home, and a pair to carry. Note: This won't work if one has astigmatism or if one needs widely different corrections in each eye. But ask your doc. You can buy a lot of OTC glasses for $200. Oh yes, it is a small nuisance to switch glasses from terminal lenses to reading lenses, but one learns quickly to minimize the hassle. Brint
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