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ExtraTorrent.cc > Articles > US Nuclear Forces Use 1970s Computers

US Nuclear Forces Use 1970s Computers

US Nuclear Forces Use 1970s Computers

Added: Tuesday, May 31st, 2016
Category: Recent Headlines Involving File Sharing > Current Events
Tags:ET, p2p, Torrent, Piracy, Peer To Peer, Network, Hackers, Internet, BitTorrent, Google, utorrent, bitcomet, extratorrent, www.extratorrent.cc, 2016
It was recently revealed that the United States is spending about $60bn to maintain museum-ready computers, which many do not even know how to operate after their creators retired. Essentially, the US military’s nuclear arsenal is controlled by 1970s computers that still use 8in floppy disks to read and write data.


The system used to send and receive emergency action messages to US nuclear forces runs on a 1970s IBM computing platform using 8in floppy disks to store information. It is most likely that you haven’t ever seen such floppies – they are not the more modern 3.5in floppy disk that you might only know as the save icon. They are OG 8in floppy – a large floppy square with a magnetic disk inside. 8in could be bought in 1971, but were replaced by the 5¼in five years later, and by the more familiar hard plastic 3.5in in 1982.

According to the US Government Accountability Office, replacement parts for the nuclear forces system are difficult to find because they are obsolete. The Pentagon confirmed that it was calling for a full replacement of the obsolete machines. However, the entire upgrade will take longer, while the crucial floppy disks might be gone by the end of 2017. One should also remember that magnetic media has a finite shelf life, while the floppy disks and the drives needed to read and write to them are already older than the operators of the equipment. In other words, this might make one wonder whether the United States could even launch a nuclear attack if required. In this case, an “error, data corrupted” will literally mean life or death.

Posted by: 

Date:  Tuesday, May 31st, 2016

Comments (11) (please add your comment »)

posted by (2016-05-31 16:13:09)
edddy avatarmaybe is harder to hack.

posted by ET junkieTurtle (2016-06-01 00:36:10)
kidcanvas avatarthats a good point edddy... i can guarantee that if needed, there's plenty of Our multi billion dollar Nuke subs that can shoot enough missiles to destroy the world a 100 times over +

posted by (2016-06-01 17:26:23)
YngBlondboy avatarLOL..... Billy this disk is The Oregon Trail game.. get the launch disk damn it...

posted by Trusted UploaderSite FriendET loverSupermanKitty (2016-06-01 20:13:36)
SirSeedsAlot avatarThings will be much better when Microsoft is installed : /

posted by (2016-06-02 04:47:50)
Nahaz avatarAlmost sounds like the movie scene straight out of War Games..

posted by (2016-06-02 05:46:00)
nurvx avatarI don't see what the big deal is. Some of thee missiles were built in the same era or earlier. You don't need a high speed computer to hit a continent. Those systems were built to last and they have. Same tech is still humming away on cold war spy satellites. Vacuum tube components are larger and slower but are way more resilient than solid state components. I'm sure the government is housing 100+ years of replacement parts in the silo next to those systems. I doubt there will me much of an upgrade if any.

posted by (2016-06-03 06:06:33)
No avatarSeems odd.....I've read that most of the time the military has civilian technology way before we see it due to cost etc. Why wouldn't they have upgraded way earlier unless it was for those exact reason that they couldn't hack etc.. I've read the military has had HDTV since 1985 for military purpose and it wasn't mainstream to us til when like 2005? Pretty sure it was on wiki I'm just too lazy to bring it up lol. Anyway that's my rant and I could be completely wrong so say it if i'm lazy and crazy........

posted by (2016-06-04 08:07:29)
No avatarSecurity has nothing to do with it. I can tell you exactly what's going on with the US nuclear forces using such antiquated equipment. For you to understand, you need to know two things: first, that I am a professional geek and have been working in IT for over twenty years. I get a lot of one-off work like warranty repairs on devices made by manufacturers everyone would recognize. Think HP printers needing a new fuser, networking gear problems, replacement of system boards in servers and workstations. The second thing is that I have someone very close to me who was a 2nd Navigator on B52s during the 1980s. As explained to me, the primary navigator took care of the important stuff, like making sure the plane was actually on the right path to get to where they were going. The junior nav was relegated to less important stuff, like elevation (essentially, making sure the plane didn't pancake on an unexpected mountain.) Oh, and the junior nav was also responsible for firing off the nuclear cruise missles to clear the plane's path of those pesky air defense missile batteries, and for programming and dropping the city-killers when they arrived at their destination. So, a couple of years ago I was dispatched for a warranty repair on a rackmount server, the brand one anyone would recognize, in use at a data center run by a IT conglomerate anyone would, also, recognize. I diagnosed a bad system board in the server, and a new system board was duly dispatched. I returned to install it. I had an escort, an IT worker who was an employee of the company whose site it was, and we had some chitchat while interminably waiting for some pointy-head to give the okay to take down the server so I could replace the system board. This person told me how frustrating his job was, because he was responsible for riding herd on numerous servers and workstations throughout the company's system,which due to the extreme old age of some of their infrastructure which was still in the system thirty or forty years after the machines had been manufactured. I didn't think much of it because I have also been dispatched to work on say a mainframe which was still in service at a manufacturing facility and was so old that HP no longer even had any info in their system about the server and it's HPUx operating system, having disposed of it long ago. However, while I chatted with this dude and waiting on a green light to install this system board, my escort told me they still had to maintain working computers running such ancient OSs like MSDOS, Windows 2.0, IBM OSX, and some truly ancient iterations of Unix from the late 70s. When I asked why they had to keep that old shit going, he said that they were still servicing government contracts pertaining to devices so old that they had to maintain the same "OS environment" from when that device was manufactured. I thought "oh cool, whatever" and got the job done and went home. I told this former SAC bombardier I know about this experience (he works in IT also and I figured he'd find it interesting). He told me "Yeah, that company (unnamed) manufactured and still maintains the guidance systems for pretty much every ICBM and SLBM in the US arsenal. He said that most of the warheads currently online and ready for use were manufactured in the 1970s or 80s and that even by their deployment date they worked so well that there was little room for improvement. So whenever one of these guidance packages came in for a little work in the shop, they had to maintain the original OS environment that the ancient but still 100% ready missile or warhead was originally developed in. Otherwise it would be like shouting English at a Mexican who only understood Spanish. When the US built them, they got it right the first time around. Pretty much every warhead in our arsenal is still running the same electronics, or at least the same "OS environment" in which the older components of the weapon only understood some ancient language still maintained by the manufacturer because, like the B52 bomber which is over fifty and still going strong, our missles are also old but not aged. They might be thinking in MSDOS but they will still make the same size crater in the enemy's ground, with the same or improved accuracy as originally designed into it. And by the early 1980s, the US nuclear strike capabilities had already achieved the accuracy to destroy every single enemy missile in its silo, no matter how hardened.

Of course, our missiles would have only been destroying empty holes in the ground, because those missiles would already be on their way to return the favor. And even if the bombers and missiles didn't get through, or got through but failed to get there in time to actually blow up something important, there were always those subs hiding under the ice cap which could emerge after a few hours or days and roast the remaining world population which didn't go in the first missile exchange. So now you know...the rest of the story.

posted by (2016-06-04 19:27:56)
nyaaaaah avatarYeah Eddy, that is exactly what my first thought was...

posted by (2016-06-06 02:46:30)
No avataromg i haven't seen an 8in floppy disk since i was a kid(in the 70s)

posted by men (2016-06-06 05:06:33)
STEVENS8134033002 avatarLeave it to AMERICA to end the world ass we know it.

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