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(Gizmodo)   C:\ users\ USAF\AFSPC\ launch\ missilecmnd.exe   (gizmodo.com) divider line 202
    More: Fail, USAF, AFSPC, air forces, Lesley Stahl, floppy, air launch  
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15150 clicks; posted to Main » on 28 Apr 2014 at 2:44 PM (33 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



202 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2014-04-28 01:55:16 PM  
Nope, it's on a floppy, so:

A:\ users\ USAF\AFSPC\ launch\ missilecmnd.exe
 
2014-04-28 02:01:51 PM  

dittybopper: Nope, it's on a floppy, so:

A:\ users\ USAF\AFSPC\ launch\ missilecmnd.exe


Came here to say this.

Also - 8 inch floppies???  HOLY CRAP!  I haven!t seen one of those in decades!
 
2014-04-28 02:02:54 PM  
Well, wait...How do we know the floppy isn't being used in conjunction with a program already stored on a hard disk or other permanent storage medium?  The floppy could just be a reference disk for the program at hand!
 
2014-04-28 02:04:49 PM  
LOAD "missilecmnd.exe",8,1
 
2014-04-28 02:06:23 PM  
And I would think it would be:

C:> a:

A:> misslecmnd
 
2014-04-28 02:08:13 PM  
This old technology possesses one advantage mentioned during 60 Minutes last night. It's cyber-secure according to tests as it's a closed system, independent from Internet access.
 
2014-04-28 02:10:09 PM  
missilecmnd.exe is too long for an MS-DOS based file system. missil~1.exe
 
2014-04-28 02:11:17 PM  

AirForceVet: This old technology possesses one advantage mentioned during 60 Minutes last night. It's cyber-secure according to tests as it's a closed system, independent from Internet access.


i1214.photobucket.com

Approves.
 
2014-04-28 02:16:11 PM  
Turn your key sir!

ishootthepictures.files.wordpress.com
 
2014-04-28 02:20:57 PM  

TheEdibleSnuggie: Well, wait...How do we know the floppy isn't being used in conjunction with a program already stored on a hard disk or other permanent storage medium?  The floppy could just be a reference disk for the program at hand!


The old ones only held about 1 Mb, so I'm assuming they're used as system keys. It's not that crazy, because it adds to security to use an odd and specific hardware. Another advantage is that would be harder for bad guys to make a copy, real or fake, since the 8" drives are probably extremely rare these days.
 
2014-04-28 02:22:48 PM  

AirForceVet: This old technology possesses one advantage mentioned during 60 Minutes last night. It's cyber-secure according to tests as it's a closed system, independent from Internet access.



That. It's secure, and it works.
 
2014-04-28 02:26:12 PM  

Blues_X: AirForceVet: This old technology possesses one advantage mentioned during 60 Minutes last night. It's cyber-secure according to tests as it's a closed system, independent from Internet access.


That. It's secure, and it works.


Provided nobody has a magnet...
 
2014-04-28 02:38:30 PM  

Gig103: missilecmnd.exe is too long for an MS-DOS based file system. missil~1.exe


I had totally forgotten about that. Good catch.
 
2014-04-28 02:39:06 PM  
They upgraded last year by notching the other side of the disk giving them double the capacity.  The project costs $293,093,398.34.
 
2014-04-28 02:43:09 PM  

TheEdibleSnuggie: Blues_X: AirForceVet: This old technology possesses one advantage mentioned during 60 Minutes last night. It's cyber-secure according to tests as it's a closed system, independent from Internet access.


That. It's secure, and it works.

Provided nobody has a magnet...


Yeah, that. How many billion-dollar systems can be defeated because you slept with/blackmailed a tech, or they didn't background-check the janitorial staff at the third-party firm, or your secretary propped the door open when he left on his smoke break, or someone wrote down a password in plaintext?

Meat is always your weak link.

// one would think they have backup copies of the disk(s), but you know what they say about assumptions...
 
2014-04-28 02:47:34 PM  

Dr Dreidel: // one would think they have backup copies of the disk(s), but you know what they say about assumptions..


I don't, actually, but you seem pretty sure that I do...
 
2014-04-28 02:47:55 PM  
So the people who have the job of launching middles that have never been launched  have no experience in launching them???

No shiat?
 
d23 [TotalFark]
2014-04-28 02:47:57 PM  
yeah right.  More libby lib lib mumbo jumble.

We all know it's major high tech down there...

img.fark.net

I mean, shiat.. look at ALL THOSE LIGHTS!
 
2014-04-28 02:49:33 PM  
Hey Ducky, let me stick this 8-inch in the computer.
 
2014-04-28 02:49:50 PM  
Meh, I still deal with a couple of original IBM DOS green screens.

/ THEY BELONG IN A MUSEUM
 
2014-04-28 02:49:53 PM  

Gig103: missilecmnd.exe is too long for an MS-DOS based file system. missil~1.exe


launch.exe

Not to be confused with lunch.exe, on the other floppy.
 
2014-04-28 02:50:09 PM  
"First, the staff doesn't seem wildly experienced."

Well shoot, did they just sleep through the last few nuclear wars we had?
 
2014-04-28 02:50:50 PM  
On Friday last week, two U.S. Navy supercomputers were brought down when a welder shorted a coolant system power cable.
 
2014-04-28 02:51:14 PM  
Who cares, as long as it works and it's secure?
 
2014-04-28 02:51:24 PM  
game for the Wargames reference, leaving satisfied..
 
2014-04-28 02:51:36 PM  
I don't believe it. I thought their fire had gone out of the Universe. But there it is. An 8" floppy disk.

Where do you buy new 8" floppy disks?
 
2014-04-28 02:52:13 PM  
What's their backup? Cassette tape?
 
2014-04-28 02:52:22 PM  

dittybopper: Nope, it's on a floppy, so:

A:\ users\ USAF\AFSPC\ launch\ missilecmnd.exe



actually those aren't PCs... it is probably an AS400 or something similar on the back end, or maybe even a mainframe.

WRKF or WRKCMD would probably be used.


IDNWTV
 
2014-04-28 02:52:37 PM  
Nerds.jpg
 
2014-04-28 02:52:43 PM  

The Green Intern: "First, the staff doesn't seem wildly experienced."


That's not what their test results say.
 
2014-04-28 02:52:56 PM  
You should see their collection of eight track tapes.
 
2014-04-28 02:53:09 PM  
I worked at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station for a while in a building used to build/prep satellites for launch.  I expected Star Trek type technology...

Man, was I disappointed.  My job?  Monitor temperature and humidity levels in the clean rooms and to call someone if they went out of specs.

After my first day, I realized a decent $300 computer could do the same.  They had someone in every damn building doing this.  My trainer had been there so long, the guy was making about $40,000 a year watching 2 dials.

They couldn't keep people in that job...was just toooooo boring. I lasted a month.
 
2014-04-28 02:53:51 PM  

Benevolent Misanthrope: AirForceVet: This old technology possesses one advantage mentioned during 60 Minutes last night. It's cyber-secure according to tests as it's a closed system, independent from Internet access.



Approves.


Came here for this, leaving satisfied.

"It's a reminder of a time when we were so terrified of our enemies that we literally looked backward for protection."
 
2014-04-28 02:53:53 PM  

Sgt. Expendable: Dr Dreidel: // one would think they have backup copies of the disk(s), but you know what they say about assumptions..

I don't, actually, but you seem pretty sure that I do...


"Making an assumption makes an 'ass' out of 'u' and 'mption'."

// and now you know
// I honestly thought everyone knew that
 
2014-04-28 02:54:11 PM  

Destructor: I don't believe it. I thought their fire had gone out of the Universe. But there it is. An 8" floppy disk.

Where do you buy new 8" floppy disks?


They bought 70 million of them in 1980. When one quits working; they just get one out of storage.

/ 70 million is an exaggeration; probably not a big one
 
2014-04-28 02:56:02 PM  
We must prevent the Iranians from acquiring these capabilities.
 
2014-04-28 02:56:13 PM  
The issue is who is still manufacturing 8-inch floppy disks these days?
 
2014-04-28 02:56:21 PM  
Load "Global Thermonuclear War",8,1
 
2014-04-28 02:56:24 PM  
They don't seem wildly experienced?  I don't think I'd want a couple of cranky 50+yo holding the keys, who have been passed over for promotion and stuck in a silo for decades,
 
2014-04-28 02:56:35 PM  
MrBallou:  Another advantage is that would be harder for bad guys to make a copy, real or fake, since the 8" drives are probably extremely rare these days.

Came here to say this. Security through Obscurity has it's advantages.

It's probably pretty farking hard to upgrade a system like that, anyway. I imagine it's not the sort of thing you can allow any down time for, nor can you risk any glitches bringing up, or handing off to, the new control system. Besides, upgrading the launch system isn't going to make those missiles be any deadlier. Don't fix what ain't broke.
 
2014-04-28 02:56:39 PM  

Destructor: What's their backup? Cassette tape?


Magnetic tape is a more reliable and stable backup medium than CD.  Imagine trying to adapt those mainframe launch systems to backup to a RAID setup.
 
2014-04-28 02:57:45 PM  
I've got your 8" floppy right here!
 
2014-04-28 02:58:59 PM  

Destructor: I don't believe it. I thought their fire had gone out of the Universe. But there it is. An 8" floppy disk.

Where do you buy new 8" floppy disks?


ebay

When I started at my current job (TV production) they were still using a switcher that is older than I am. We each had a 5.25" floppy with our own personal effects on it to load before each show. They had to buy new discs off ebay for new people.

Thankfully we have upgraded since then.
 
2014-04-28 02:59:17 PM  
i.imgur.com
 
2014-04-28 02:59:27 PM  

AirForceVet: This old technology possesses one advantage mentioned during 60 Minutes last night. It's cyber-secure according to tests as it's a closed system, independent from Internet access.


Like Iranian nuclear facilities?
 
2014-04-28 03:00:18 PM  
What works works. Would we rather have the USAF spend billions of dollars modernizing a launch control system that works exactly as designed when there is no compelling reason to? The floppies are used because they are cheap, easily destroyed and hard to conceal. They probably contain data required to complete a launch sequence and the data change every few hours. When I was in SAC in the 1970s, we had access codes and pass phrases that changed every four hours. These were delivered word-of-mouth and you had to know the previous values in order to use the new ones.

CBS got a peek and nothing more. They weren't shown how the system really works. Actually, only the final steps in a missile launch happen at the silo. The officers manning them could never launch without critical systems being enabled from elsewhere.
 
2014-04-28 03:00:32 PM  

Benevolent Misanthrope: dittybopper: Nope, it's on a floppy, so:

A:\ users\ USAF\AFSPC\ launch\ missilecmnd.exe

Came here to say this.

Also - 8 inch floppies???  HOLY CRAP!  I haven!t seen one of those in decades!


I have one at my desk here at work.  It's right next to a copy of "The Mythical Man-Month" by Brooks.  Both are from 1982.  It's my little "electronic data is not permanent" demonstration:  I hand them to people and say "Which one can you still read?".

/Probably could read the 8" floppy with some effort.
//Probably.  If the data itself didn't rot.
 
2014-04-28 03:03:30 PM  
We went to the moon with less.
 
2014-04-28 03:04:17 PM  

TheEdibleSnuggie: Blues_X: AirForceVet: This old technology possesses one advantage mentioned during 60 Minutes last night. It's cyber-secure according to tests as it's a closed system, independent from Internet access.


That. It's secure, and it works.

Provided nobody has a magnet...


Which is why they should have stayed with punch cards.

/I'd piss on a spark plug if I thought it'd do any good!
 
2014-04-28 03:04:24 PM  
Another vote for the outdated unconnected system.

It's proven, stable, secure, reliable, and if all else fails, you can piss on the damn spark plug to turn it off.

img.fark.net
 
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