Cyberterrorism Sounds a Lot Like Y2K Revisited
Commissioner Tommy Adkisson
June 7, 2005
At 12:01 a.m. on January 1, 2000, all heck was suspected of breaking loose. According to the internet, "in year 2000, computer systems could interpret 00 as 1900 messing up all the computing work. For example if a program function is calculating difference between two dates, it would calculate a negative number. The difference between 1 Jan 2000 and 31 Dec 1999 could be calculated as -100 years rather than 1 day." Jail doors would conceivably swing open with guards powerless to stop inmates from leaving en masse. Everything dependent on a computer was thought to be susceptible to malfunction due to the "glitch".
"Y2K bug was a clicking time bomb for all major computer applications. The computer and system application companies came out with year 2000 compliant operating systems and system software. Information technology companies around the world spent billions of dollars to go through their entire application source code to look for the Y2K bug and fix it. Almost everybody raced around to make themselves Y2K compliant before the fast approaching deadline. Finally when the big day came, many utilities and other companies switched off their main computers and put the backup computers on work. When the clock ticked Jan 1, 2000, no major problems were reported. Almost every bank worked fine, no major power outages were reported, airplanes still flew and the whole world went on with its normal life."
Now hear this!: San Antonio, Bexar County and Comal County included, were 48th in areas of the U.S. to receive a grant of $6,301,153. Why 48th? My wild guess is that we are not focused on monies available. Surely we are not 48th because we would rather not be prepared or would rather spend money from local government revenues when the federal government is offering to pick up the tab!
For starters, Bexar County should:
- Build a readily searchable database that would provide detailed information about all the critical infrastructure assets in the area as well as their vulnerabilities.
- Most importantly, construct a comprehensive information sharing system with vertical and horizontal integration.
- Assemble a robust state of the art command center with the latest technology and the ability to receive TOP SECRET information.
Since any form of terrorism, cyber or physical is critical, we must redouble our efforts to see to it that Bexar County is treated with the seriousness that our community and this issue deserves. I look forward to keeping you posted on our progress.