Sunday, January 11, 2009

Airport 'glitch' poses security risk

If this were any normal country in any ordinary neighborhood, the computer crashes that affected four international airports in Taiwan (Taoyuan, Kaohsiung, Kinmen and Nangan) on Monday would not be of major concern. But when they occur in a country such as Taiwan, which faces, about 130km away, a major military power that has relentlessly stated its ambitions to annex it — by force if necessary — the “glitch” turns into a major security problem.

Even more troubling than the “hard drive” failure itself is the fact that four National Immigration Agency (NIA) systems simultaneously went offline at rush hour. This either indicates that all airports rely on the same, centralized computer system without the redundancy (ie, a system that runs in parallel to ensure continuity when failure occurs) that one would expect for such critical infrastructure or that the systems were somehow victims of sabotage or electronic attack, domestic or foreign.

Taipei Times op-ed continues here.

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