False Hawaii Nuclear Alert Not a Mistake

FrgMstr

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I am not sure if this is good or bad. Hawaii officials have previously said that it was all a mistake, and folks pointed towards the system being hacked after this picture was uncovered with an official password stuck on a monitor with a sticky note. Seems as though now that the alert was fully intentional.

WASHINGTON — The state worker in Hawaii who sent a false wireless alert warning of an inbound ballistic missile on Jan. 13 issued the message intentionally, thinking the state faced an actual threat, the Federal Communications Commission said on Tuesday.
 

kju1

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My mistake the mistake was a mistake!

I think the level of incompetence they have shown is astounding. While its not a bad thing to err on the side of caution in these cases the very least you can do is own up to when you make a bad call...without the cover up first.
 

mr.Loma

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Indeed , in case of a real emergency I hope the night shift doesn't let the day shift send out the warning just so they can go home in time, waiting at the door eyeballing the clock
 

lcpiper

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The explanation given by the spokesman sounds dumb, but I wouldn't expect anything brilliant regarding IT from any spokesman anyway.

Richard Rapoza, emergency management agency spokesman, confirmed that the password is authentic and was actually used for an "internal application."

A password for an internal application is actually a pretty odd description. It means it's not a user account password for a workstation or server and it's probably not a service password for a something to log onto a service. It's for a specific application that may or may not still be in use. Although it's possible that it's for a locally installed application, I'd bet it was for a web based application, something the users had to log into in order to perform some function, like accessing an app hosted on another site and they had to log into the site to get to the application. And that's what happens when you don't set up Authentication properly.

My first thought is that this issue is at least as much an IT failure as it is an organization failure.
 

lcpiper

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So he thought a Post-It note from the night shift was a real emergency?

The post-it note and the password had nothing to do with the false alert. It's only related to the false alert story because it involved the same organization.
 

pcgeekesq

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Hopefully, some lawyer will file a class-action suit on behalf of all the people who suffered financial and emotional stress because of this idiot.
State workers need to be held accountable, and you know the Hawaii government won't do it, they're in bed with the public "service" unions.
 

lcpiper

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Hopefully, some lawyer will file a class-action suit on behalf of all the people who suffered financial and emotional stress because of this idiot.
State workers need to be held accountable, and you know the Hawaii government won't do it, they're in bed with the public "service" unions.

You're an out-of-work lawyer aren't you? :sneaky:
 

atarione

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Hopefully, some lawyer will file a class-action suit on behalf of all the people who suffered financial and emotional stress because of this idiot.
State workers need to be held accountable, and you know the Hawaii government won't do it, they're in bed with the public "service" unions.

at the very least the more "excitable" of people should get a coupon for new underpants...
 

Brian_B

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Well, if the guy was wrong in the other direction - there was a missle and he didn’t hit the button....

Who would be left in Hawaii to complain about that?
 

mdburkey

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The best drill is one where you don't know it's a drill. It tends to help pinpoint the weak spots in the system VERY quickly. Given the current political climate with regards to North Korea, I personally suspect the guy who issued the alert did it because he was instructed to, which I have zero problem with. Frankly, similar "drills" should also be conducted in AK as well.
 

Zion Halcyon

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I think this was a political ploy that wasn't very well thought out.

That's exactly what it was. Some doofus who hated Trump wanted to cause problems while he was visiting Hawaii.

Personally I don't care whether somebody likes the guy or hates him, but if your dislike for him will cause you to break laws, endanger people, and cost taxpayers money, then you have serious mental problems ( using the "Royal you" here not you specifically ).
 

lcpiper

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The best drill is one where you don't know it's a drill. It tends to help pinpoint the weak spots in the system VERY quickly. Given the current political climate with regards to North Korea, I personally suspect the guy who issued the alert did it because he was instructed to, which I have zero problem with. Frankly, similar "drills" should also be conducted in AK as well.


EDITED: I don't dispute your ideas on what makes the best drill, only the need for this particular type of drill.

Why? North Korea doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell of landing a nuke in either territory.

Despite all the scare and click bait media sensationalism, the simple and undeniable reality is that North Korea's current ballistic weapons technology is approximately on par with US missile tech from the early 1960s. Missiles that by today's standards are nothing but an exercise to destroy in flight. Of course there are others who are more advanced and potentially hostile, China, India, maybe even Israel, but none are crazy and desperate enough to make an attempt knowing what the return package would bring them.

In the time it would take North Korea to fuel a missile for launch a US sub could destroy the site and then have breakfast. Maybe some day this will be different, but not today, not right now.
 
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WhoMe

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EDITED: I don't dispute your ideas on what makes the best drill, only the need for this particular type of drill.

Why? North Korea doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell of landing a nuke in either territory.

Despite all the scare and click bait media sensationalism, the simple and undeniable reality is that North Korea's current ballistic weapons technology is approximately on par with US missile tech from the early 1960s. Missiles that by today's standards are nothing but an exercise to destroy in flight. Of course there are others who are more advanced and potentially hostile, China, India, maybe even Israel, but none are crazy and desperate enough to make an attempt knowing what the return package would bring them.

In the time it would take North Korea to fuel a missile for launch a US sub could destroy the site and then have breakfast. Maybe some day this will be different, but not today, not right now.
Anyone who plays KSP knows this ;). Seriously my thought up to now (and in the near future) is they would need to sneak a bomb in...maybe in a lead lined cargo container or some such.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Well, it was still a mistake.

Instead of being a fat finger / UI interpersonal mistake, it was a communication mistake.

It's not like it was a malicious prank or something like that.

This information is certainly important to those managing the system in order to come up with better controls to prevent it from happening again, but are mostly unimportant to everyone else. It was still a mistake.
 

gunbust3r

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Epic office prank? Probably should have stuck with the tried and true screenshot of desktop and hidden all the real icons...
 

lcpiper

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Anyone who plays KSP knows this ;). Seriously my thought up to now (and in the near future) is they would need to sneak a bomb in...maybe in a lead lined cargo container or some such.

That's possible, but the US doesn't really trade with NK right now. We watch all the shipping coming and going because of the embargos and weapons bans. North Korea does still manage to sell weapons to other countries, a few in the Middle East and elsewhere, but that stuff is watched pretty close and not just by the US. So any ship, no matter it's flag, that ports in North Korea or meets a NK ship at see is going to be drawing attention and I don't think it would be allowed anywhere near our coast.

Still, they aren't stupid so if they "smuggled it out" say overland to a country that does trade with the US, like China. Then a Chinese flagged ship could make that trip but then you have to wonder about that. Who in China would take that risk and paint that target on China's back. I mean now you have both the US and China deciding that they can't live with a loose cannon.

If something like this happened, China would take North Korea apart themselves if it was a rouge action, and if it wasn't how could China not do it and maintain a look of innocence?

I bet Tom Clancy could make a decent book out of it, if he every decided to write a decent book again.
 
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cjcox

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Shouldn't this read "Hawaii Nuclear Alert Not a Mistake"? Perhaps that would be too scary?? Perhaps it should be written as something totally different??
 

WhoMe

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I bet Tom Clancy could make a decent book out of it, if he every decided to write a decent book again.
Not that I want to provide a spoiler: but they take over an inbound cargo ship, stick the container on it and get it pretty close to the port and boom! Of course Pres. Ryan will stop it at the last possible moment.
 

Ur_Mom

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I bet Tom Clancy could make a decent book out of it, if he every decided to write a decent book again.

Tom died 5 years ago.

A lot of that does sound very much like one of his style of stories, though. Would be a great read.
 

Tsumi

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Tom died 5 years ago.

A lot of that does sound very much like one of his style of stories, though. Would be a great read.

That's unfortunate. I've only read a few of his books but rather enjoyed Sum of All Fears and Executive Orders. Rainbow Six was okay, don't remember much about it.
 

EODetroit

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Sounds like a lawyer told someone, "you won't get fired if you claim this".
 
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kju1

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EDITED: I don't dispute your ideas on what makes the best drill, only the need for this particular type of drill.

Why? North Korea doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell of landing a nuke in either territory.

Despite all the scare and click bait media sensationalism, the simple and undeniable reality is that North Korea's current ballistic weapons technology is approximately on par with US missile tech from the early 1960s. Missiles that by today's standards are nothing but an exercise to destroy in flight. Of course there are others who are more advanced and potentially hostile, China, India, maybe even Israel, but none are crazy and desperate enough to make an attempt knowing what the return package would bring them.

In the time it would take North Korea to fuel a missile for launch a US sub could destroy the site and then have breakfast. Maybe some day this will be different, but not today, not right now.

The Hwasong-15 is on par with the Titan II which was late 60s I think and was still used until 2003.

Theoretically it could hit even DC. So they have the range. Accuracy? Probably not...yet. Payload? I have no idea but I’d guess they are aggressively working nukes.

Either way it’s something to worry about. Especially when they seem to be interested in mobile launches and quick tests knowing we are watching.

I’m not so conifident we would have the time to preemptively attack or that we could shoot it down.

 

Arbit3r

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That's exactly what it was. Some doofus who hated Trump wanted to cause problems while he was visiting Hawaii.

Personally I don't care whether somebody likes the guy or hates him, but if your dislike for him will cause you to break laws, endanger people, and cost taxpayers money, then you have serious mental problems ( using the "Royal you" here not you specifically ).
Reason can say 100% it was political motivated was not hours after they said it was in error they started to pin the blame on Trump over his handling of NK. The guy that resigned is just a scape goat for probably someone telling him to do it
 

tangoseal

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Why isn't there any 2 person integrity. That button should require two people to activate it 10 feet apart. The ramifications are damn serious for mistakes as we have seen.
 

WhoMe

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Why isn't there any 2 person integrity. That button should require two people to activate it 10 feet apart. The ramifications are damn serious for mistakes as we have seen.
One story I read is it will require two people in the future. Of course that can cause the opposite problem when one is on a break.
 

Elios

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this will only make the tinfoil hat guys more sure it was a cover up
 

kju1

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One story I read is it will require two people in the future. Of course that can cause the opposite problem when one is on a break.

When you have positions like that you also do not have breaks. Or if you do you have a replacement relieve you. There should not be any time when the "console" is not manned with at least two people.
 

timberwolf

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So, we should have 2 people physically manning a warning console 24/7 to issue a warning for an event that no one of sound mind would want to survive?

I don't get why anyone would want to survive a nuclear attack. If the warning comes where I am, I won't be diving down a manhole in the street. I'll go outside and hope that the detonation is close enough to vaporize me before the shock wave even hits...seriously.

Rules for the apocalypse:
1. Die in the apocalypse
2. If you fail on rule #1 you need to be both armed and in a gang.
 

lcpiper

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The Hwasong-15 is on par with the Titan II which was late 60s I think and was still used until 2003.

Theoretically it could hit even DC. So they have the range. Accuracy? Probably not...yet. Payload? I have no idea but I’d guess they are aggressively working nukes.

Either way it’s something to worry about. Especially when they seem to be interested in mobile launches and quick tests knowing we are watching.

I’m not so conifident we would have the time to preemptively attack or that we could shoot it down.


This article has some relevant information about the 15,


One of the things to realize is that during the recent test of the 15, the missile was launched to an extreme altitude but didn't actually travel a great distance, it went into the Sea of Japan. What the graph on this article shows is that to reach the distances needed to strike the US, the missile will travel at a far lower altitude. That angle means that the missile could be vulnerable to THAAD or more realistically, that the missile would have to be launched from the the more northern regions of the country or it could be at risk.

But the bigger issue is that it would not travel over South Korea at all if launched against the continental US, it would travel over China/Russia and take that Alaska, Canada, Polar type flight path. So in actuality, our traditional defenses are already in place against North Korean missiles just like they were against the old Soviet Union and have been maintained even now against the new Russian Federation. I suppose what I am saying is that we are at no greater risk of a North Korean attack then we are of a Russian or Chinese attack other than, North Korean might be crazy enough to try what these other two haven't.

If our defenses are not proof against a North Korean attack, then they won't work against the others either and we are simply relying completely on MAD for our safety. I think we are in better shape than that.
 
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lcpiper

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When you have positions like that you also do not have breaks. Or if you do you have a replacement relieve you. There should not be any time when the "console" is not manned with at least two people.

Well it isn't a physical button to begin with, it's a software button in an application. The have an application to sen their Alert messages, there is a pull down selection of pre-typed messages for most contingencies and they simply select the appropriate warning and select if it's a test or the real thing, and click the "Send" button. What it needs is first, use authentication or log into the App and create the message, and a higher level permission required to transmit and it's the higher level can't draft the message, only transmit. So then it takes one person to create the alert, and one to transmit, and that higher level requires the guy to enter his password following clicking send so, it becomes a very deliberate act, but it doesn't add too much time and multiple people can have both permission sets sooooo, the rest is just man power/ manning.
 

kju1

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This article has some relevant information about the 15,



One of the things to realize is that during the recent test of the 15, the missile was launched to an extreme altitude but didn't actually travel a great distance, it went into the Sea of Japan. What the graph on this article shows is that to reach the distances needed to strike the US, the missile will travel at a far lower altitude. That angle means that the missile could be vulnerable to THAAD or more realistically, that the missile would have to be launched from the the more northern regions of the country or it could be at risk.

But the bigger issue is that it would not travel over South Korea at all if launched against the continental US, it would travel over China/Russia and take that Alaska, Canada, Polar type flight path. So in actuality, our traditional defenses are already in place against North Korean missiles just like they were against the old Soviet Union and have been maintained even now against the new Russian Federation. I suppose what I am saying is that we are at no greater risk of a North Korean attack then we are of a Russian or Chinese attack other than, North Korean might be crazy enough to try what these other two haven't.

If our defenses are not proof against a North Korean attack, then they won't work against the others either and we are simply relying completely on MAD for our safety. I think we are in better shape than that.

Whatever you linked to isnt showing up at work. I will have to read it later.

My point is that in theory they can launch a missile that could hit us and that I dont believe we should rely on "we will see it coming". Also not confident we could shoot it down - I know there have been tests but just how accurate are those tests? I haven't seen what I would consider "real world" tests of equivalent missiles coming in at speeds to an undetermined target. I have seen tests for shooting down within X seconds of launch. I will caveat that with I expect some tests to be classified and for me to not be privy to them. But even given all that I am still worried...it really does look like they have an unstable regime and that leads to unpredictability. I am much less concerned about China suddenly attacking than I am NK.

Well it isn't a physical button to begin with, it's a software button in an application. The have an application to sen their Alert messages, there is a pull down selection of pre-typed messages for most contingencies and they simply select the appropriate warning and select if it's a test or the real thing, and click the "Send" button. What it needs is first, use authentication or log into the App and create the message, and a higher level permission required to transmit and it's the higher level can't draft the message, only transmit. So then it takes one person to create the alert, and one to transmit, and that higher level requires the guy to enter his password following clicking send so, it becomes a very deliberate act, but it doesn't add too much time and multiple people can have both permission sets sooooo, the rest is just man power/ manning.

Sure? I wasnt speaking to its implementation but rather that if you have that kind of system, no matter what it is, you keep two people on it at all times.
 

lcpiper

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Whatever you linked to isnt showing up at work. I will have to read it later.

My point is that in theory they can launch a missile that could hit us and that I dont believe we should rely on "we will see it coming". Also not confident we could shoot it down - I know there have been tests but just how accurate are those tests? I haven't seen what I would consider "real world" tests of equivalent missiles coming in at speeds to an undetermined target. I have seen tests for shooting down within X seconds of launch. I will caveat that with I expect some tests to be classified and for me to not be privy to them. But even given all that I am still worried...it really does look like they have an unstable regime and that leads to unpredictability. I am much less concerned about China suddenly attacking than I am NK.



Sure? I wasnt speaking to its implementation but rather that if you have that kind of system, no matter what it is, you keep two people on it at all times.



I had to fix the link, thanx.

They say our current ICBM missile defense systems have about a 50% chance of a kill in a one on one engagement, so shoot four and play the odds.

Oh and I agree, you take all prudent measures and that means if you even get a whiff that they are putting a live nuc on one you just blow that shit up. Your defense is simple, Kim's been talking so much smack who wouldn't take him seriously and give him a chance.
 
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