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Escape from Data Alcatraz

CmdrTaco posted more than 12 years ago | from the is-there-anybody-in-there dept.

Security 248

nihilist_1137 writes "Zdnet is reporting on a new information facility that is built to surive the worst.Triangular in shape, two of the sides house offices while the third, a large rectangular block if taken in isolation, contains two data centres, as well as the infrastructure to ensure that Web sites continue to function come fire, flood, natural catastrophy or foreign invasion."

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248 comments

frist ps0t (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2759652)

hello, dumbasses, this is an fp. clint mathis is god.

Re:frist ps0t (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2759773)

My neighbor's dog has a 4 inch clit.

/. effect (-1)

Dead Penis Bird (524912) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759665)

The true test is to see if anything hosted there can survive our special brand of DoS attack.

ATTN trolls!!! Visit Michael Sims at HOME!!! (-1)

five dollar troll (541247) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759666)

Do you hate Michael Sims? Do you detest his hypocritical and pretensious behavior? Want to tell him what you think of his involvement with the Censorware Project? Want to punch him in the face?

Now's your chance!!! Michael can be found at the following address:

76 Swan St.
Staten Island, NY 10301


And as though that weren't enough, here's his phone number!!!

(718) 556-1002

And when you're ordering four hundred cheese-and-mushroom pizzas to be delivered to his door, make sure to tell 'em the Five Dollar Troll sent ya!!!

Re:ATTN trolls!!! Visit Michael Sims at HOME!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2759687)



Hey, I just called. Nobody's home. :(

Re:ATTN trolls!!! Visit Michael Sims at HOME!!! (-1)

ArchieBunker (132337) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759940)

Probably off "visiting" katz.

Foreign Invasion? (5, Interesting)

InfinityWpi (175421) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759672)

"Remember thealamo.com!"

Seriously, though... you're saying they can stand up to repeated shelling by artillery? Or infantry-placed demo charges? Or anything else an invading force is likely to have?

WHY????

If you're being invaded, you've got more important things to worry about than if your company's web site will stay up!

The other half of this is: What if the invasion is an invasion of illegal immigrant workers? Can this thing survive having a janitor who's been slipped a hundred bucks (three weeks pay) to pull out a wire here and there?

Re:Foreign Invasion? (5, Informative)

linzeal (197905) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759823)

At a certain datacenter facility which will remain nameless we had repeated attempts and successes of theft. All the cases that were eventually resolved were shown to be IT workers, yet everything was blamed on the janitors who were "decontracted" over and over to the point where they had to pay people to travel in excess of 60 miles to clean the place.

Want to know how we caught one of the fuckers? Get some "Super Phosphorescent Pigments" [blacklite.com] make sure its NONTOXIC and coat thinly an item that has been stolen in the past and put it in a place where it is easily stolen with no video cameras. Install blacklight in a cubicle, wait till object is taken and invite people to come over and look at it with a blacklight poster. The thief is the one with the glowing hands.

Re:Foreign Invasion? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2759909)

Sure, unless he USED the item, you fucktard. Did that ever occur to you? Why would someone steal an item if was never used?

Re:Foreign Invasion? (2, Insightful)

MisterBlister (539957) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759986)

Why not just try installing a video camera in a concealed location?

I'm no lawyer, but I don't think the "glowing hands" argument would stand up in court.. How do you know the guy didn't just touch the coated box, previous to it being stolen? Unlikely, perhaps, but perfectly plausable.

Re:Foreign Invasion? (5, Interesting)

ZPO (465615) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759902)

Simply from the physical construction and security perspective:

EXTERNAL---

1 - Parking lot is too close to the building (a reasonably sized car/truck device could do serious structural damage.

2 - "ram proof"??? Not hardly. I don't see a double berm system. Some of those nice decorative tree planters that are actually 2 foot thick reinforced concrete might help

3 - No view of the perimeter. Does it have a ditch, double fence line, k-rails to require a zigzag entrance.

(plenty more)

INTERNEL ---

1 - From what I can see all conduits are directly attached to unistrut on the ceilings. Big problem if you take a good shock to the building (ie - it's rigid)

2 - Equipment is not isolated by springs/rubber mounts from the floor. Same shock damage possibilities as above.

3 - No water collection trough around the sides of each room. I don't see floor water sensors either.

4 - Water drip pans under all chilled water and condensate lines.

5 - *1* generator? For the cost of the facility it would have been a pittance to go with two and have full redundancy when running on local generation.

All in all it's a decently engineered place. It just needs the final touches...

Re:Foreign Invasion? (1)

SpacePunk (17960) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759983)

That generator has to get oxygen from somewhere. Find the pipe, stopper it up, and kill the engine.

-

From the article (1)

nanojath (265940) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759961)

"...bomb resistant..."


Mmm, comforting. But hey, what you're selling here is a somewhat false sense of security (your website staying up means dick if your economy collapses, for example. So you gotta play the worst case scenario card.

Re:From the article (3)

sharkey (16670) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759974)

"...bomb resistant..."

Notice that it does not say explosion resistant.

Re:Foreign Invasion? (1)

RPayne (122707) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759978)

WHY????
If you're being invaded, you've got more important things to worry about than if your company's web site will stay up!

Well, for one thing, not every web site is a .com web site selling something to the populous under attack. For another, there are businesses that maintain financial and other resources that are needed to fight back in the event of an attack. Information is also a currency, even excluding the 'financial' markets, in the current world.

As to the point of:
What if the invasion is an invasion of illegal immigrant workers? Can this thing survive having a janitor who's been slipped a hundred bucks (three weeks pay) to pull out a wire here and there?

Do janitors making a hundred bucks in three weeks have access to your data center? One would hope that since the physical access to the data center is at least as important as the network access to it, the only people cleaning up in the data center are those that are being paid, and therefore have accountability for, maintaining the integrity of that data. Are you aware that the people with the highest clearance requirements in many of the government facilities, at least in the U.S., are for those responsible for the trash and cleaning of those facilities? Who is more capable of walking off with a garbage bag full of papers, the person working in the cubicle with no printer, floppy drive or outside net connection, or the person paid to separate and carry out bags of trash?

Re:Foreign Invasion? (4, Funny)

dattaway (3088) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759981)

Artillery? Why worry about carnage when the pen is mightier than the sword. Our laws will wipe out any data center with a series of lawsuits, lobbying, and consitutional rights fiascos. Bombs will be welcome when the lawyers get done with the victim's site.

One Problem (5, Funny)

docstrange (161931) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759673)

If we all die from nuclear fallout who will reboot the NT servers?

Re:One Problem (1)

xZAQx (472674) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759716)

Oh, now THAT's funny. Mod parent up.

Re:One Problem (1)

analyst99 (193974) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759740)

If we ALL die, will anyone be around to care who will reboot the NT Servers ?

Re:One Problem (1)

rastachops (543268) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759908)

The spambots ;)

Re:One Problem (5, Funny)

TheGreenLantern (537864) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759880)

The NT admins, of course. Total global destruction is no excuse not to wear your pager on the weekends, mister!

Re:One Problem (1)

ThatComputerGuy (123712) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759882)

If an NT server crashes in the forest, will anyone give a damn?

Re:One Problem (2)

psych031337 (449156) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759936)

If we all die from nuclear fallout who will reboot the NT servers?

And who will use the various Unix and Linux derivates when we are all dead, but they don't fail. Might this be the beginning of digital evolution?

Re:One Problem (3, Funny)

jeffy210 (214759) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759970)

Just put it behind some drywall and stick NetWare 3.1 on it... garunteed uptime

I don't care... (5, Funny)

7608 (515533) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759675)

I don't care if it was built to withstand a direct nuclear attack... give me FIVE customers from the last helpdesk I worked at, and I'll make sure the place is reduced to rubble by day's end.

Never Underestimate The Power Of Human Stupidity.

Primary Concerns at Defcon 1 (1)

supertedusa (541578) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759679)

Thank god that freecreditreport.com and anything associate with the X10 camera would still be available if a nuke wiped out my neighborhood.

Secure vs. Secure for Real (3, Funny)

webword (82711) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759681)

I read the article. It is fine. Plenty of interesting points and all that jazz. However, I have the ask the obvious questions: Is it secure from hacking? Seriously. I read the article and it seems like a physically secure place, but is it secure electronically? From "real" attacks? From the kinds of attacks that happen all of the time?

(start sinister laugh)
I can just see some script kiddie taking the place down. That would be too funny.
(end sinister laugh)

Re:Secure vs. Secure for Real (2, Insightful)

Ravensfire (209905) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759801)

Ahh, but that's probably not their concern! The clients, who are using the machines, should be responsible for the electronic security of the machines. This facility covers the physical security of the machines.

Re:Secure vs. Secure for Real (1)

morcheeba (260908) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759838)

You're right. amazing. not a single mention of electronic security, unless you count the oh-so-high-tech physical access cards. Sure, they have redundancy, but what about backups? I'd love to hear about a company deploying some high-tech data security measure.

Admitedly, some of this extra security is left over from when the building was a traditional bank vault. But, did money really need armored cooling towers? Did they add those on for the computers? Is armor going a little too far, or since the rest of the place is a vault did they feel that they had to keep up the image?

Security through obfuscation (2, Insightful)

UberQwerty (86791) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759980)

Making a big, strong safehaven like this and telling everyone negates its effects. Telling everyone about how great your security is gives it a shorter lifetime than the completely not-scure (either from hacking or from "foreigh invasion") computer I'm using to type this. A shitload of physical defences and paranoid geeks are great for security, but not nearly so good as keeping a secret.

I say build it in the middle of a desert, six feet underground, under cover of night.

Don't they have editors at ZDNet? (3, Funny)

ptrourke (529610) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759683)

Built initially to house currency, the Hostworks data centre in the suburb of Kidman Park, Adelaide is a tribute to the profligacy of Timothy Marcus Clark, [snip] Nestled in a semi-industrial area, with minimum road signage, it is at once unassuming, virtually impenetrable and to this day an inspirational feet of excess engineering.

Unassuming feet? What, size 5 1/2 D?

Re:Don't they have editors at ZDNet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2759943)

Don't they have editors at Slashdot?

That should be 36DD, since those are the only sizes we really care about. Feet? Who cares! Let's talk about boobies!!

Where are the pictures? (1)

MattRog (527508) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759684)

It would be nice to see a couple pictures of the interior like most data centers, even if it is a secure area. At least maybe some flash animations. :(

Re:Where are the pictures? (2, Informative)

zmokhtar (539671) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759917)

Here you go:

Pictures of Hostworks [hostworks.com.au]

Do you smell what The Rock is cooking? It's poo! (-1)

Al Gore (152558) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759689)

Speaking of data alcatraz, did anyone hear Mitnick on Art Bell last week? Man, I wanted to call and ask him how long he was able to keep [uninteresting.com] his anal cherry. I'll bet that, being skinny little virgin whiteboy, he was quite a prized bitch for whatever murderer or child molester ended up deflowering him. I wonder if he screamed? Or maybe he enjoyed it! Man, I sure would like to know if five years of buttfucking taught him that HACKING IS A CRIME. Kevin Mitnick is a fag!

I like to snot my little sister! (-1)

The WIPO Troll (267426) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759701)

By The WIPO Troll [slashdot.org] , $Revision: 1.3 $

Whats black, blue and green and doesnt like sex?
The Girl Scout locked in my basement.
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Getting the blood out of your clown suit.
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That little hand makes your thing look really huge.
Guy comes home from work to find his girlfriend sitting on the porch, crying.
Whats wrong, honey?
Im leaving you! I just found out youre a pædophile!
Pædophile? Why, thats a pretty big word for a ten year-old.
How can you tell when your sisters on her period?
When your dads dick tastes like blood!
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Whats 18 inches long, blue, veiny, and makes a woman cry?
Crib death.
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Watson returns home to find Holmes in bed with a child. He shouts, Is this some sort of a schoolgirl?
Holmes replies, Elementary, my dear Watson.
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Two guys are walking down the street when a beautiful woman passes. The first guy says, Damn! Id love to tear her clothes off, do her in the rear, smear my fæces all over her [aol.com] , slice off her breasts, chop her into little pieces, put her in a garbage bag and toss her into the river!
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A guy calls in sick to work.
Whats wrong? asks the boss.
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One walked on the moon, and the other rapes little boys.
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________________________________________

Thanks to Fark.com [fark.com] for all of these wonderfully sick jokes! I couldnt have done it without you! And thanks to all the Anonymous Cowards who have flamed me, I have three words for you! YHBT! YHL! HAND!

Apparently this post is extremely good at getting biters. According to an anonymous coward, Attorney General Ashcroft [hitler.org] is also after little old WIPO Troll now, in addition to the Canadian cops-on-a-horse that another A.C. sent after me a couple days earlier. Well, this should be fun. Keep up the biting, Slashdotters!

________________________________________
$Id: pedo-jokes.html,v 1.3 2001/12/27 19:00:21 wipo Exp $
Copyright © 2001
The WIPO Troll [slashdot.org] . Verbatim crapflooding of this document is permitted in any medium, provided this copyright notice is preserved, and next time you take a dump, you think of the WIPO Troll and all hes done to make Slashdot a better place.

All That Money... (2, Funny)

AixGE (536006) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759703)

"And, of course, we spared no expense with our software, either: We installed the latest versions of IIS, Windows XP and Outlook on every machine in the datacenter to make absolutely sure that no one can get unauthorized access to anything on our servers! Everybody knows that software you pay a lot for is more secure than that free stuff. Microsoft says so!"

Odds.. (2, Insightful)

dj28 (212815) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759712)

I would much rather have a data center that concentrates more on getting patches and other server-based security issues applied rather than chasing the very slim chance of a foreign invasion. I think it's more likely for someone to crack my colo than it is for a fire to melt it.

Re:Odds.. (1)

davidesh (316537) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759808)

"Hostworks takes complete responsibility for the provisioning and management of the operating system environment, in line with the SLA for each customer. This includes responsibility for appropriate deployment of patches and configuration changes. Hostworks continuously monitors public and manufacturer supplied information sources to ensure that performance and security are maintained at the highest possible levels"

link (1)

davidesh (316537) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759714)

http://www.hostworks.com.au/datacentre_tour.html

let's see if it can withold a /.'ing

Smoke on the Water (1)

baby_head_rush (131448) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759718)

Some stupid with a flare gun burned the place to the ground.

Interesting... (4, Interesting)

Ricky M. Waite (544756) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759719)

"The Ministry of Truth -- Minitrue, in Newspeak -- was startlingly different from any other object in sight. It was an enormous pyramidal structure..." [George Orwell, 1984]

Kinda scary.

Build redundancy with distribution (2, Interesting)

Genady (27988) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759721)

Yeah, very nice. However if you're big enough to house servers there you should be big enough to have servers in multiple smaller/less available locations and have Akamai or some other internet wide distributed provider load balance between them.

Looks like a big basket to me. Would you put all your eggs there?

Who does THIS sound like? (1)

Unknown Bovine Group (462144) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759727)

Built initially to house currency, the Hostworks data centre in the suburb of Kidman Park, Adelaide is a tribute to the profligacy of Timothy Marcus Clark, former head of the State Bank of South Australia. Nestled in a semi-industrial area, with minimum road signage, it is at once unassuming, virtually impenetrable and to this day an inspirational feet of excess engineering.

I think Jon Katz has taken a pseudonym!

Missile Silos (1)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759731)

I actually prefer Missile silos for ulitmate security.

Remember, we now have to deal with the possiblity of using large aircraft as weapons :-(

and Silos are designed to take pretty heavy hits and physical attacks.

Invasion?? (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759734)

I am SURE that this building can survive a hit by a 2,000 pound bomb or a daisycutter. This is not the 1800's, the invaders would have enough weaponry to level this building...

What for? (2, Insightful)

chrysalis (50680) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759735)

This is nice, but it protects a single point of failure. If you want to take these servers down, just attack the provider they depend on...

Re:What for? (1)

jred (111898) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759764)

You mean providers. I think they said they have 3 distinct providers. 3 pipes, at least...

Re:What for? (1)

Genady (27988) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759804)

Even with three providers that doesn't assure the absence of a single point of failure. Even assuming that the telco dmarc's are located in different parts of the building, do those com lines come in from the same central office? Or do they eventually take a identical path somewhere?

Company I worked for used to have 5 different providers that came into their data center at different points and they called this good redundancy. Until the day when a barge clipped all 5 lines going under a bridge on the Mississippi.

Re:What for? (3, Informative)

davidesh (316537) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759792)

http://www.hostworks.com.au/networks.html

2 Connections to Telstra and 2 to Optus at different exchanges

"Hostworks Control Centre features over half a gigabit per second of connectivity. This is delivered via four high capacity divergent path links connected to Optus and Telstra.

As a matter of policy, Hostworks ensures that it always has four times the capacity of its peak traffic loads."

Re:What for? (2, Insightful)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759830)

Exactly. The problem with this kind of thinking is that it is mainframe thinking all over again. The key to keeping things up and running is to make it redundent.

I find it so sad in the information world we keep thinking single data point and single information point. And people keep thinking things like FreeNet, GNUTella, etc are just "copyright" violators. In fact they are the future of the Internet. But the suits would much rather sell single point of failure systems.

C'est la vie, maybe one day

Good Investment (5, Insightful)

Rebel Patriot (540101) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759736)

At first this seems almost like a joke. Who would invest this much time and energy into such a fortress just to house data? Well... banks for one. Imagine banks from around the world storing their data here in a highly encrypted form, updated at least daily. it would require alot of bandwith to say the least, but wouldn't that security be worth it to investors?

Less crucial information that needn't be updated regularly could find a home here at a discounted price. Take for example, building plans. Every city, county, and State in America has a plan somewhere for every building its ever built that lists (among other things) the locations of all wiring and plumbing. This isn't terribly confidential information (though it very well may become so for large buildings with a realistic threat of terrorist attacks) and could be modestly encrypted with read access only granted to the owner.

Copyright owners might be interested in it as a way of saving back-ups of their paper-work that cannot be destroyed by some freak accident.

I for one don't like these ideas because they represent too many eggs in one basket. When information security is required, it is my personal belief that having it stored in a known location that every hacker in the world would drool over to get inside is a bad idea. History has shown, however, that not everyone (indeed few people) listen to me.

Re:Good Investment (1)

cnkeller (181482) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759876)

This is a great idea, but who cares if the servers are physically sercure if the communications lines and/or softare running on the servers isn't? I wonder what the capacity for point-to-point fiber is (running under the assumption that fiber is difficult if not impossible to splice in the middle).

Re:Good Investment (3, Insightful)

Nelson (1275) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759897)

Has a bank's data security been compromised lately?
That's how I'd temper the worthiness of something like this.

Re:Good Investment (5, Insightful)

2Bits (167227) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759925)

Copyright owners might be interested in it as a way of saving back-ups of their paper-work that cannot be destroyed by some freak accident

That's easy. Publish it on the usenet. Short of total Earth destruction, that piece of work will never get lost.

Re:Good Investment (3)

Chanc_Gorkon (94133) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759928)

One more place where you would WANT this is a hospital. They have to work through tornados, hurricanes, Earthquakes and everything. Sometimes a server being up or down can save someone's life! ALOT of hospitals in Florida have this kind of a Data Center. NO single points of failure...EVER. Be it air conditioning, power, internet, computers, water supply and even food. Yes even FOOD. Remember admins and operations folks need food especially in a danger type situation (you'd have you folks come in before if you know a hurricane is going to hit....besides the center is safer then your house anyway).

History (5, Insightful)

legLess (127550) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759742)

Remember the Maginot Line? Impregnable? How easy was it to get around that? Data is useful in direct proportion to its accessibility - cut the connections into this place and it's toast. No frontal attack necessary.

Also, the article says they can expand capacity 300%. Frankly, that sounds like pretty short-term planning to me. In my experience, it's a rare data store that doesn't double in size every year or two.

Still, it sounds like a cool place, and probably has a better climate than Sealand :)

Re:History (3, Insightful)

Geek In Training (12075) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759835)

Also, the article says they can expand capacity 300%. Frankly, that sounds like pretty short-term planning to me. In my experience, it's a rare data store that doesn't double in size every year or two.

Right you are, but of the giant space they've already allocated for racks, how much is currently used, like 5%? Your comment seems to assume that 100% of their racks are already full.

I'd imagine they set up a giant space for 24 months worth of business growth to fit in, and put in a contingency for 300% above *that*. That way they can see how the demand acts over the next year or two, and react accordingly by adding more physical space.

That's just my SWAG*, though.

*For newbies, that's "Scientific, Wild-Assed Guess."

Good backup solution, bad availability (1)

xn2 (523492) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759743)

Triangular in shape, two of the sides house offices while the third, a large rectangular block if taken in isolation, contains two data centres, as well as the infrastructure to ensure that Web sites continue to function come fire, flood, natural catastrophy or foreign invasion.
Let's see... a Web site is a certain machine to which people connect, if you can't connect to it it's useless. You don't need to bomb the place, you just need to cut the fiber coming out of the building...

Re:Good backup solution, bad availability (1)

zachhendershot (470923) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759755)

This ladies and gentlemen makes perfect sence to me. There are just too many weaknesses in our communication fabric to justify this sort of protection for a simple server that relies of this very fabric.

Re:Good backup solution, bad availability (2)

susano_otter (123650) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759892)

This ladies and gentlemen makes perfect sence to me. There are just too many weaknesses in our communication fabric to justify this sort of protection for a simple server that relies of this very fabric.

I imagine that if the thought would occur to someone so prone to grammar, punctuation, and spelling mistakes, it has probably also occurred to the designers of the facility. I imagine also that they have taken steps to address this issue, and that most of their security is, in fact, not publicy documented.

Re:Good backup solution, bad availability (1)

zachhendershot (470923) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759910)

You have made an excellent point, sir.

you want safety for your data? (1)

Stone Rhino (532581) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759745)

I got your data safety right here [havenco.com] . They answer to nobody, since they have their owm government [sealandgov.com] .

Physically securing data (2)

richie2000 (159732) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759750)

I was close to being in charge of a small-scale version of this concept last year (financing fell through) - we had the bunker/air raid shelter staked out and all. We were going to offer secure web hosting but mostly going for the off-site data backup and storage market - kinda like an underground Sealand, without the AAA. :-)

Size Matters (1, Redundant)

HardCase (14757) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759756)

There was a very good point that was pretty much glossed over in the article.


What happens if they outgrow their facility? I mean, what they have seems pretty well designed for anything short of a war, I guess, but how do you cope with success?


Then again, I guess the obvious answer would be to build another one, assuming that growth==success==more money (although I'm not so sure that I'd assume that!)


They claim room for 300% growth, but still...it certainly sounds like they're virtually the only game in town...er, on the continent. Is 300% enough?


-h-

Re:Size Matters (1)

Segfault 11 (201269) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759911)

Well, it depends on what the original size was...

Short on details but interesting... (2, Interesting)

bteeter (25807) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759757)

The article is pretty high level, but interesting none the less. I'm skeptical that is really as secure as they say it is. It would seem that any building which relies on outside connections would be vulnerable if those connections were cut. Not to mention that the air towers that were mentioned could be closed off, etc.

It seems to me that the best defence would be geographically distributed datacenters synced up on a regular basis. Of course you would have to deal with data syncing, and perhaps a master-slave relationship amongst the datacenters, but these are relatively simple problems to solve, compared to preparing for a nuclear or other attack...

Take care,

Brian
--
Only a few Free Palm m100's left... [assortedinternet.com]
--

But can they..... (1)

JumboMessiah (316083) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759762)

survive a direct attact when the ditch witch I rented three hours ago cuts through all the fiber conduits down the street.

Looks nice, but... (2, Insightful)

inerte (452992) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759763)

... traditionally, data is not cracked by attacking its physical form. Kevin Mitnick :-) always said the easier way to get information was only some small and simple conversations with people who work where one wants to crack.

"So, where do you go on vacations? Are you married? What's your spouse's name? What's your favorite sports team? Any music style preferred?", etc...

um what if.... (1)

booyah (28487) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759766)

oh say someone decides to crash a couple of 767's full of jet fuel on it......

You have to consider the extremes that someone may go to to take out what every may be hosted there nomatter how short term it would be...

Or in a more realistic world a good ol DDOS attack... Or your bandwidth carrier goes under....

the world is a harsh place for people who claim to be secure

Well now (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2759769)

Linux is, at best, a toy operating system. At worst it is the kind of submersive force in America that Stalin only dreamed of creating.

There are "cells" reporting to unknown leaders that only go by names like "L33t_Kernal_Hax0r" that cannot be located - after all, "living in my momma's basement cause I have no real world skills to speak of" is not a true street address.

There is the Marxist concept of "give what you can, take what you need." Only, none of these people can give anything, excepting the few heroes of the revolution that have their own roach filled apartments and must give blow jobs in parks monthly to meet their rent. Yet, they all feel the need to take, take, take. MP3s? "We must have them! It is about freedom for the artists!!" Software? "We must have it for free! It will be good then!!" Movies? "Yes, we must have them for free!!!" Of course, the dirty secret all of these "give it to me free!!!" people are trying to hide is that they have no resources to actually acquire anything legitimate, due to their pathetic skill set and the fact that society has no use for them.

Society, in fact, had no use for them even during their formative years. That's why their lunch money was stolen. Darwin's law was trying to assert itself, but overprotectively indulgent parenting prevented such a thing from happening

Re:Well now (0)

ganiman (162726) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759861)

Ok, so what did any of this have to do with a big data center? Clearly, you have some things you need to vent.

Re:Well now (0)

negacao (522115) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759968)

Grin, at least I got a good laugh out of this. "anything, excepting the few heroes of the revolution that have their own roach filled apartments and must give blow jobs in parks monthly" I'm thinking this guy was one of the roaches. :-P Or maybe somebody that paid for the blowjobs? Oh, by the way, my boss is curious as to why I have to give blowjobs to pay the rent.. I think that most of the "cells" you speak of probably make 6 figures, easily. I do.

Big Deal (2)

SiliconJesus (1407) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759771)

Most 'good' datacenters have the same things. Multiple connections to power, water, electricity - good physical security et al. I've worked at and visited many datacenters, and nothing here outside of the ability to withstand explosives is all that different from anything else I've seen stateside. The big difference is that they're dumb enough to advertise it.

I'm glad ZDNet has the time to waste on stories like this. Physical security is nothing without a secure network to run in. All the `dead man zone's` in the world mean nothing if it isn't backed up on the network side by a good solid firewall.

Cheap geographical redundancy, not $$$ gimmicks (5, Interesting)

EaglesNest (524150) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759776)

When I worked the overnight shift at one of Qwest's many hosting centers, I loved to give early-morining tours. We'd impress everyone with all our layers of redundancy. The more expensive a system, the more impressed our tourists would be with it. Still, having three different diesal engines - each the the size of a locamotive, or having triple UPS protection, or dry localized fire-retardent, or triple redundant air conditioning and filtering, or three different OC-48 lines isn't the most important thing about redundancy.

By far, the cheapest and most effective method of redundant systems is to just safe your money and not buy fancy equipment for one place, but to spend it on cheap equipment is several places. That way, who cares if someone takes out an entire hosting center, leaving only a 100 ft dep crater. You still have servers running in California and Asia.

The Domain Name System doesn't rely on a huge Fort Knox-like system. It simply has 13 (?) different places throughout the world where amazingly cheap (for its importance) equipment resides. Even if North America sinks to the bottom of the Ocean, DNS should still happily resolve.

Expensive (but impressive) measures are not the answer to reliability. Geographic diversity of cheap systems is the answer most most applications. Today, we have incremental transfer protocols such as rsync that will even transfer massive databases back and forth by only sending the changes. It's largely marketing, unwarrented by technical considerations, that make companies spend so much money on these extra sigmas of reliability.

It can only be as secure as the network/server. (1)

s0l0m0n (224000) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759782)

Physical security is a Good Thing (tm), but what about Network security. It'd be a familar gut wrenching feeling for the suits who came up with the idea to build the most secure Data warehouse in the world and then run IIS as the server.

Besides, what location in the real world is actually physically secure? I'm sure that Bin Laden told his followers that the caves they were going to hide in were 'secure'...

Give me a dozen well trained military operatives, and a couple of geeks and I could take the place, by force and subterfuge. Give me a herf gun and I can make thier secure facility useless.

Hell, Molly Millions could probably take this place on her own.

and this means what? (3, Insightful)

Xaleth Nuada (516682) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759786)

It's an impressive building designed to withstand all sorts of disaster movie ideas. So what?

As we've all seen time and time again the real threat to computer systems does not come in the form an earthquake, tidal wave, or random highjacked 767. The real threats rear their ugly heads when some idiot user doesn't update his M$Outlook security package, or takes his password out of the dictionary.

I'm not trying to say that physical threats to computer systems aren't important. By all means they are usually the last thing people think about. But the data here is only being protected from physcially being damaged and or lost. There's nothing in that article about firewall's, encryption, open access ports, faulty software, defective hardware, etcetera ad naseum.

The protection of data by the building is just one part of the problem of everything becoming digital. It's by no means the end all solution.

One man can crack it (3, Funny)

isdnip (49656) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759798)

I don't care how secure they think it is. Give Danny Ocean three weeks and he'll get anything he wants from there.

(Or George Clooney, in a pinch. Yeah, I liked the movie. Cash vault, sure.)

Wow... This is just too easy.... (5, Insightful)

Peridriga (308995) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759809)


Simple way to take down the site....

3 Letters.... E M P

Haha!!...

EMP (1)

Maditude (473526) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759824)

So basically, all it'd take to take this center out is a big Electro-Magnetic Pulse generator...

Harumph! (1)

tbone1 (309237) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759826)

And I bet they still can't get away from the Jehovah's Witnesses.

Secure? (1)

3ryon (415000) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759834)

Don't get me wrong, without physical security you have no security. However, I'm sure that all of the physical security impresses the pants off the Customer's Executives who aren't aware that their data is only as secure as the helpdesk.

l33t H4xor: This is Bob Bigswingingdick, could you reset my password for me?
Helpdesk: Sure thing, but I can't give you the password over the phone, I'll have to give it to your boss.
l33t H4xor: Did you not hear me correctly, This is Bob Bigswingingdick, I don't have a manager. By the way, tell me who your manager is.
Helpdesk: That won't be necessary sir, I'll take care of you.

ADVERT : GO! LINUX 2002 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2759836)

DO NOT MODERATE : YOU WILL BE PERNAMENTLY BANNED IF YOU DO!



[go.com]
Go! Inc has produced Go! Linux 2002! At just $1999 plus shipping you get 50,000 packages on 10 DVD's! And since its based on Debian, you will get the added value of a well constructed disto! So what are you waitng for? Buy Go! linux 2002 now! [go.com]
BUY NOW! HURRY BEFORE ITS TOO LATE

Why not host in a cave then?? (0)

liposuction (176349) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759853)

These guys host your machines 85' underground. Constant temp and humidity all provided by mother nature.

Check it out.
http://www.usdco.com/

That's great! (3, Funny)

Tony Shepps (333) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759854)

And as long as the dot-com boom continues to revolutionize the way we all shop, work, and live, these kinds of 99.999% reliable sites will be very important to us! Because there will be sites other than Amazon and Ebay that cannot withstand even an hour of down time without endangering the very existence of the companies with those sites!

The future lies in big buildings paying big money for big reliable redundant systems with big corporations paying big rent to make sure their big connectivity is almost permanent! Luckily the new pop-up ads will pay for it all!

Why, the only thing stopping people from getting to the completely-reliable sites located there is the fact that 99.99999999% of the routers on the net aren't in that building! But the last two nodes of any traceroute will be absolutely rock-solid! As long as there is some money left to pay bright, qualified network engineers, including 24x7 manned duty! Way to go!

(Phew. I didn't think I had a reserve of enough sarcasm to complete the post.)

Australia (1)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759873)

When was the last time Austrailia was the target of attack? I'm betting when the English showed up, and before that the Aboriginies (sp?). I'll hedge my bets and allow a random Japanese air raid during WWII. Building a super secure facility in a secure country seems like taking a refrigerator to Antarctica to hold your beer.

Re:Australia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2759950)

> like taking a refrigerator to Antarctica to hold your beer

To keep it from freezing.

Hello? Won't you snot my sleigh tonight? (-1)

The WIPO Troll (267426) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759893)

By The WIPO Troll [slashdot.org] , $Revision: 1.15 $

Why do I keep receiving emails from someone calling himself CmdrTaco?

You have been receiving email from a certain
Robert CmdrTaco Malda [cmdrtaco.net] , owner of the popular technology website Slashdot [slashdot.org] . Actually, its not a very popular site in the common sense of the word; the site is rife with pimply, antisocial geeks, zit-faced nerds, communists, dirty GNU hippies [yahoo.com] , and other societal rejects and outcasts. Its also home to one of the worlds largest pædophile ring, the infamous Slashdot crew.
Whenever Mr. Malda gets bored (and who wouldnt, running a site like
Slashdot all day), he roams through the user database, penis in hand, looking for people who might enjoy engaging in homosexual activities with him. How he determines this is anyones guess; but if you have a homosexual-sounding nickname, or a nick with a letter of the English alphabet in it, youre in trouble.
This time, he found
you. Lucky you.

Malda seems to be speaking in some sort of code. Do you know what it means?

CmdrTacos code language is relatively easy to decipher. He prefers to speak in thinly-veiled sexual innuendo (yes, thats right: he wants your cum) to evade the watchful but relatively stupid eye of Slashdots parent corporation,
VA Software [yahoo.com] . Mr. Maldas Commander is, of course, his penis: a small, withered little thing that lives in his pants and only comes out in the presence of other male geeks or at the beck and call of CmdrTacos own lubed-up right hand. His Taco bells [sonymusic.com] are the shriveled testicles that droop beneath his Commander, and his Taco sauce is his thick, gooey semen. It should be more than obvious to you now what he means if he asked you to ring his Taco bells or taste his gourmet Taco sauce.
I would guess he also asked you to engage in a practice known as Taco-snotting and, if he was in a particularly depraved mood at the time, a circle-snot.

Good Lord. What is Taco-snotting?

Taco-snotting is the term used by CmdrTaco to refer to the act of fellating a homosexual man (or unwilling heterosexual; CmdrTaco is rumoured to prefer rape), then blowing the semen out his nose onto the face and body of his partner or victim. Naturally, a long, bubbly stream of milky-white semen is
left on CmdrTacos face [go.com] , dribbling out of his nose and down his cheek: hence the term, Taco-snotting.
A circle-snot is a Taco-snotting
circle-jerk, another practice common among the Slashdot crew [bastardgenres.com] . CmdrTaco, CowboiKneel [aol.com] , and Homos get together and snot each other with their gooey, sticky cum spooging their jizz-snot all over each others faces and pasty, white bodies, until theyre covered head to toe with their own and each others man juice. This vile ritual can go on for hours. For the homosexual penetration that follows this lengthy foreplay, Roblowme is usually there to provide plenty of anal lubricant; he owns a limo service and has ample supplies of motor oil and axle grease ready to go.
To complete this perverted orgy, fellow geeks Michael, Timothy, and Jamie will usually join in, dressed in tight leather mock-S.S. uniforms, jack boots, and leather gloves. The whole group then proceeds to snot each others spunk and whip each others pudgy asses with riding crops and chains until their pale, white geek bodies are exhausted and soaked in stinking sweat from the hours of passionate, homosexual revelry.

Ewwwwww. So, can I stop receiving these emails?

Hopefully.
You most likely forgot to uncheck the Willing to Taco-snot checkbox in your account preferences. CmdrTaco has probably already got the hots for your wad, and hes probably already been lurking outside your bathroom window for weeks with a camera, some tissues and lube. Theres no escaping a geek in heat, so its probably too late for you, but you can possibly rectify this situation. To remove yourself from CmdrTacos sights, log into your Slashdot account, go to your user page, click on
Messages, and uncheck the box next to Willing to Taco-snot. Maybe hell ignore you. Probably not.

I cant stop receiving these emails from CmdrTaco!?

If you indulge him in a Taco-snot or two, he
might leave you alone. You might also want to look into mail filtering, restraining orders, or purchasing a heavy, blunt object capable of warding off rampaging homosexual geeks in heat. Trust me, when they charge... oh, the humanity. If he gets you, and you let him Taco-snot you, you will most likely end up tied up in his basement to be used as his sex slave for the rest of your life (or until he accidentally drowns you in spunk in a circle-snot).

Have you ever been Taco-snotted?

Unfortunately, yes. I first met CmdrTaco at an
Open Source Convention [amazon.com] . He invited me back to his room for a game of Quake and some gourmet Tacos, but when I got there, he jumped me and tied me to his bed, stripping me. After taking his Commander out of his pants, Mr. Taco made me suck the withered thing six times. He then performed his vile Taco-snotting ritual on me three times over the next two hours, bringing me to orgasm after sweaty, mind-numbing orgasm... then he snotted my own milky-white jizz back onto my face, into my mouth, then again on my exposed belly.
CmdrTaco invited several of his Open Source (or rather, Open Sauce man sauce) buddies over to continue the twisted snotfest. Linux Torvalds
raped my ass [yahoo.com] with his monolithic kernel [yahoo.com] , and Anal Cox used his network stack in a multitude of unspeakable ways on and in every orifice in my defenseless body. Michael was there in his leather Nazi uniform, caning my ass with a bamboo pole and ranting about all those Censorware freaks out to get him.
How did you finally escape, you ask? After about 16 hours of countless homosexual atrocities perpetrated against my restrained body, they all finally went to sleep on top of me, sweat-soaked and exhausted. I was left there, covered in bubbly, translucent jizz-snot, chained to the bed, with half a dozen fat, pasty-white fags lying around and on top of me. Fortunately the spooge coating my flesh worked wonderfully as a lubricant; I was able to squirm my way out of the handcuffs and slip out the back door. Im just glad I survived the ordeal. These geeks had a lot of built-up spunk in their wads I couldve easily been drowned!

Thats horrible. Does Taco-snotting have anything to do with CmdrTacos special taco?

No, thats a different disgusting perversion CmdrTaco indulges himself in. CmdrTaco is usually not satisfied with merely snotting your own jizz back onto your face, he most often enjoys involving his own bodily fluids in his twisted games.
WeatherTroll [slashdot.org] has spent some time trying to educate the Slashdot readership [slashdot.org] about this vile practice (emphasis added):
You may be wondering what CmdrTacos special taco is. You will be wishing that you hadnt been wondering after you finish reading this post. To make his special taco, CmdrTaco takes a taco shell and
shits on it. He then adds lettuce, takes out his tiny withered dick (otherwise known as his Commander), puts his special taco sauce on it which means he jacks off on the taco, and adds a compound to make the person who eats the taco unconscious. Of course, the compound does not make the person unconscious until the taco is fully eaten. Thus CmdrTaco force-feeds the taco to the unsuspecting victim. After all, who would knowingly eat shit and CmdrTacos jizz?
After the victim is unconscious, he is held against his will and used for CmdrTacos nefarious homosexual purposes. This includes shoving taco shells up the victims ass, Taco-snotting, and getting Jon Katz involved. Trust me, you do not want Jon Katz anywhere near your unconscious body. Also, rumor has it CmdrTaco is looking for a new
goatse.cx guy [goatse.cx] . Dont let it be you!
Completely different, yet no less revolting. It should be clear to you now that CmdrTaco is a very, very sick individual, as are most of the Slashdot editors.

Does Jon Katz get involved in any of this? I thought he was a pædophile, not a homosexual.

Actually, Jon Katz is a
homosexual pædophile. Hes also a coprophiliac, and, many suspect, a zoophile. Jon Katz is somewhat of a loner and doesnt involve himself in circle-snots. Mr. Katz usually engages in a game called Katz juicy-douching [aol.com] with his harem of little-boy slaves: a vile practice which involves administering an enema to himself of the little boys urine (forced out of them with a pair of pliers), spooging the vile muck from his ass back into the enema bag, then squirting and slathering the goo all over himself, and the little boys chained-up and naked bodies. If hes in the mood, he will sometimes skip refilling the enema bag from his distended anus and just squirt it from his ass [microsoft.com] onto his boys. Unwilling boys are further tortured with the pliers until they comply and allow Mr. Katz to juicy-douche them at will usually for the rest of their lives.
As I already said, Mr. Katz is
also a zoophile. As if the sexual escapades with the helpless little boys arent enough, Jon usually enjoys his juicy-douches best when his penis is firmly planted in a female goats anus [yahoo.com] . He is also rumoured to get off on watching his little boys eat the goats small, bean-like turds.

Are you getting hard writing this?

Why, yes. :) Join me in a WIPO-snot?

No, thanks. Im already CmdrTacos boi toi.

________________________________________
$Id: tacosnotting.html,v 1.15 2001/12/23 19:47:07 wipo Exp $
Copyright © 2001
The WIPO Troll [slashdot.org] . Verbatim crapflooding of this document is permitted in any medium, provided this copyright notice is preserved, and next time you take a dump, you think of the WIPO Troll and all hes done to make Slashdot a better place.

So 1999 (3, Interesting)

Fnkmaster (89084) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759905)

This is very 1999. Back several years ago I was looking at several colocation facilities for my company, including Frontier GlobalCenter in NYC and the Exodus data center in Waltham, MA. They spent so much money on whiz-bang protection from invading armed forces, etc. etc. Not to mention the slick electrically opaque glass between the conference room and the NOC, so they can press a button and you watch the "opaque" glass at the end of the room fade away to see the ridiculous NOC with way too many flashing lights and screens with little bandwidth bars that was all for the benefit of potential customers.


This sort of excess overspending and the lack of emphasis put on _real_ security (i.e. data security rather than physical security) ignores the vastly more likely threat to most company's web servers and database servers (and frankly that's what most of the boxen in these places are - huge rooms full of Yahoo and eBay machines). I'm not saying that a certain degree of security isn't appropriate, but withstanding foreign invasion? Please. The invaders are looking to break in with their armored brigade to the Exodus data center!!! Oh no!! Come on. A modest degree of armed guard presence, a low profile, some generators and massive UPS system - fine, this all makes sense. But you can go overboard.


Anyway, don't take my word for it. Just look at Exodus' stock. Their excesses seemed to ignore the fact that the service they provided just wasn't worth the outrageous amount of money they were charging for it, and these days, the more budget conscious hosting/data center/colo companies are the ones left standing.

Re:So 1999 (2)

alen (225700) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759939)

You are so right. I work for a clec that is surviving this time and picking up customers from the chapter 11's and chapter 7's. One of our switch rooms is a leased space in an industrial building and looks pretty ugly. Our datacenter for our internal network for nt and exchange is in a small room in a non-descript building. Nothing fancy. Even the testing lab where we take the potential customers to is nothing special. Just another room in a bland suite in a bland building.

Here's the weak link (2, Informative)

owlmeat (197799) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759906)

"Doors throughout the complex are secured with a Honeywell Access Control System, and staff working at the facility are supplied with a proximity card."

US national labs rejected proximity cards years ago because they could be surreptitiously read out and cloned.

Really?!! (2)

garoush (111257) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759915)

"...is built to survive the worst."

You got to be kidding. I don't think *anything* can survive the: "/. effect"

Site Survival (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759920)

Ok, so it survives, but what if the cable running into the facility is cut off?

I live/work in a seismically active area and the possibility of conduits/access tunnels being ripped and shifted are a real concern for water, power, and communications (not to mention the commute.) Seems wiser to have mirrors, particularly in sites which each are unlikely to suffer any one of disaster types.

SPAMMIC.com Encoded Message! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2759932)

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Secure data centers, reality & redundancy (2)

bourne (539955) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759934)

  • All data centers are designed to impress customers, and the true level of security is never as high as the hype/promise.
  • The only true data center survivability lies in redundancy

I've been a customer at Exodus, and I've toured a number of other data center sites. The centers are generally designed to impress visitors - the "dead man zone" room being a perennial favorite - and to suggest a level of security that isn't truly there. There's a reason that the government doesn't build secure sites in the middle of an industrial park, yet that's often where you find colo/data centers. Also, the number of "sales prospects" triapsing through the data center should suggest that the true security level is lower than advertised.

As far as survivability goes, no matter how much work you put into the power, the redundant data lines, the physical security, there is no true survivability in a single site. (Look at 9/11 - how many WTC companies basically said "we'd have been dead if we didn't set up off-site disaster recovery after the '93 bomb"). Any single building can be disrupted by a determined attacker. You have to use multiple sites to be truly survivable (again, look at the Internet - the whole idea was a distributed, survivable network.

Here's the weak link... (1)

owlmeat (197799) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759967)

"Doors throughout the complex are secured with a Honeywell Access Control System, and staff working at the facility are supplied with a proximity card, which allows them access only to a specified area."

US national labs rejected the use of proximity cards years ago because they could be surreptitiously read and cloned.

Sure, it's secure, but... (2, Insightful)

billmaly (212308) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759969)

Wouldn't the best security (or at least pretty good) be to NOT advertise it on one of the most heavily trafficked sites on the net? I mean, if you want to physically destroy servers and the hardware that supports them, don't you need to know where they are? Thanks to ZD's article, now we and all other nefarious types know. Thanks John Dvorak! :)

Data Alcatraz (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2759971)

I think they have plenty of beowulf clusters in this building and I also think they run the Linus OS.

Limited Thinking in Post-Eleventh World (1)

LittleGuy (267282) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759976)

[Brown] stops for a moment before continuing the tour and points out some details which make it impossible to escape from the dimly lit metal and glass cell in which he stands.

"It is called the dead mans zone because even if someone manages to get this far into the building, they won't make it any further, and they certainly won't be able to escape," Brown says.


That's assuming that whoever intrudes wants to escape alive.

How does this prevent cyber-martyrs?

Tank in a swamp (2)

bryan1945 (301828) | more than 12 years ago | (#2759979)

Well, the building seems as secure as anything I've ever heard of, but they never mention what their communication lines are. This is ok if they are primarily concerened with data safety (which they obviously are!), but this kinda falls down if they are trying to provide data accesibility (sp?). Of course, they might (probably?) have the standard fibre plus wireless and satellite. At least I would hope so, otherwise you just have this impenatrable mass in the middle of muck that can't move and can't talk to anyone, but you can't touch without getting your ass blown off.
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