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DOD envisions virtual Pentagon
From: InfoSec News <isn () c4i org>
Date: Wed, 31 Oct 2001 04:37:14 -0600 (CST)


By Christopher J. Dorobek 
Oct. 30, 2001

In the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the Defense Department
is developing plans for a "virtual Pentagon" that would enable DOD
officials to continue to work even in the event of a large scale
attack on the Pentagon, senior military information technology
officials said.

The plans, which are referred to either as the "virtual Pentagon" or
the "distributed Pentagon," are a significant redesign of DOD's IT
contingency plans, which were found to be inadequate as a result of
the crash.

"[Sept. 11] was a wake-up call [where people said], 'Oh, that could
happen to my data,' " said Margaret Myers, DOD's acting deputy chief
information officer.

The attacks showed that there were some vulnerabilities, she said in
an Oct. 29 presentation at the MILCOM conference in Vienna, Va. There
were some single points of failure where systems were not sufficiently

"We are working to address these issues," she said.

The plans focus on creating redundancies and locating those backup
sites away from the Pentagon so operations can continue even if there
is an attack similar to the one sustained Sept. 11, she said.

The plans are more than just a tweaking of the existing plans, Myers
noted. "Part of the waking up is that we discovered the plans weren't
adequate," she said.

The Army's budget office, which sustained a significant number of
causalities, also lost a significant amount of data, she said.

The Navy, which lost about 70 percent of its Pentagon space in the
attack, did lose some data, but the Navy had its backup stored
off-site at another Navy facility.

DOD's contingency plans made prior to the Year 2000 date change
provide some valuable information, but do not go far enough, Myers

"It helped in knowing where the critical paths were, and that was
useful information," she said. But it did not address the issue of
contingencies if the paths were destroyed altogether, she said.

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