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Air Force Unplugs Bases' Internet Connections

Air Force Unplugs Bases' Internet Connections
Air Force Unplugs Bases' Internet Connections

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By Noah Shachtman 
Danger Room
February 18, 2009

It was considered a harsh, if necessary, measure when the U.S. military 
decided in November to ban all USB drives and removable media from its 
networks to stop a worm assault. But compared to what the Air Force's 
leaders are doing now, that step seems downright wimpy. The air service 
is cutting off its bases' internet connections, if they don't comply 
with strict network security rules.

Recently, internet access was cut off at Maxwell Air Force Base in 
Alabama, because personnel at the facility "hadn't demonstrated =E2=80=94 in our 
view at the headquarters =E2=80=94 their capacity to manage their network in a 
way that didn't make everyone else vulnerable," Air Force Chief of Staff 
Gen. Norton Schwartz tells

    "This is the kind of effort that's required up and down the line." ...

    The internet shutdown at the Alabama base was in response to a 
    specific, "significant" intrusion that threatened the entire 
    service's networks, according to Schwartz.

    The Maxwell event served as an example to everyone in the Air Force 
    "that this is not voluntary, that this is the real deal, that we 
    have standards and we will collectively enforce those standards or 
    you won't be on the net," said Schwartz.


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