Sunday, September 16, 2007

Spy Games

The following story makes great reading and will bring a smile to those of us who rejoiced at the fall of the Berlin Wall:

The Farewell Dossier
by Alan Bellows

In 1982, operatives from the USSR's Committee for State Security– known internationally as the KGB– celebrated the procurement of a very elusive bit of Western technology. The Soviets were developing a highly lucrative pipeline to carry natural gas across the expanse of Siberia, but they lacked the software to manage the complex array of pumps, valves, turbines, and storage facilities that the system would require. The United States possessed such software, but the US government had predictably turned down their Cold War opponent's request to purchase the product.

Never ones to allow the limitations of the law to dictate their actions, the KGB officials inserted an agent to abduct the technology from a Canadian firm. Unbeknownst to the Soviet spies, the software they stole sported a little something extra: a few lines of computer code which had been inserted just for them...

Now, aside from reminiscing about sticking it to the Soviets, this should also be a cautionary tale in today's fragmenting world.

With corporate and privatized espionage rampant - who knows what sorts of disinfo is making it into product lines at corporations around the world? How much disinfo has been flooded onto the internet by operatives of various countries or multi-national corporations? What might the consequences be?

Just another reason for you to educate yourself broadly. In the Coming Chaos, we are all going to have a tremendous responsibility to care for ourselves and those we call friend and family. Being able to spot at least the obvious flaws in software outputs and technical documents could save your butt some day.

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