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back to article US Coastguard 'cutters' could offer network vuln

The US Coast Guard has stoutly denied that its new National Security Cutters, currently under development, will be leaky - leaky in a wireless-security sense, that is. The US Coast Guard, a seagoing paramilitary organisation with rescue and enforcement responsibilities, is comparable in size to many medium-sized world navies. …

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Black vans

"If suitable precautions aren't taken, a team of knob-turners in a van parked on the jetty - or a "fishing boat" lurking nearby at sea - could conceivably tune into much of what was happening in a cutter's ops room or signals office, lifting the info unencrypted from the ship's internal systems."

This is the stuff of fiction. The CIA don't need to do that to know where the cutters are going to be, so their drug running pals dont trip over them.

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They don't get MUCH bigger

The National Security Cutter, at 418 feet will be the largest class in the Coast Guard. The Polar Icebreaker _Healy_ at 490 feet is larger, but it is a one-of-a-kind vessel which caries no major armament and is primarily used for support of polar-region scientific research.

Overall, the Coast Guard spends the vast majority of its time handling SAR (Search-And-Rescue), Marine Safety and similar duties. There are fewer Coasties than there are cops in the NYPD and the yearly budget of the whole Coast Guard is around $8 billion - a drop in the bucket compared to many of the big-ticket weapons programs of the Big Three services.

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War on Stuff

"the various Wars On Stuff"

Heh, now thats funny! Much more concise than something like "War on Terror, Drugs, the Universe and Everything".

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Tempest in a tespot

When I was working for an unnamed US gov. organization back in the early 90's I was in a situation room when I took a call from my wife on my (then) state of the art satchel phone, you know, the kind that carried it's own lead gel battery and had a 4 Watt transmit power.

After I finished the call the old timers looked at me in astonishment and asked "How did you do that?"

"Do what", I replied, "take a cell phone call?"

"Yes! This room is Tempest shielded! That can't happen!"

"Looks like the gummit got ripped off again" was my reply.

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