The Most Secure Computer is No Computer at All

In the best tv show ever made, Battlestar Galactica, humanity is at war against evil robots called the Cylons. The humans have big battleships that use very antiquated technology in order to protect themselves from hacking by the technologically-advanced Cylons. Using old hardware is their best defense.

The Navy appears to be thinking something along the same lines. From comes this story:

Satellites and GPS are vulnerable to cyber attack. The tools of yesteryear are not.

Sometimes old school is best. In today’s U.S. Navy, navigating a warship by the stars instead of GPS is making a comeback.

The Naval Academy stopped teaching celestial navigation in the late 1990s, deeming the hard-to-learn skill irrelevant in an era when satellites can relay a ship’s location with remarkable ease and precision.

But satellites and GPS are vulnerable to cyber attack … The tools of yesteryear—sextants, nautical almanacs, volumes of tables—are not. With that in mind, the academy is reinstating celestial navigation into its curriculum. Wooden boxes with decades-old instruments will be dusted off and opened, and students will once again learn to chart a course by measuring the angles of stars.

You can read the rest of the article here.

You know what else is hard for computer hackers to break into? Paper.

A story from 2015:

James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, and the Office of Personnel Management announced Thursday night that applicants will be filling out forms by hand instead of submitting their data online, with hard copies being sent to the relevant agencies for review.

The move comes after OPM revealed last month that it had discovered a cyberattack that compromised data for at least 4.2 million current and former federal employees. A week later, it said there had been a second attack specifically targeting security clearances.

Similarly, many people have pointed out that the best way to make sure that votes are counted correctly is to stick with good old-fashioned paper ballots.

Have some other examples of security-by-antiquity? Leave them in the comments!


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