Apple Force: Macs in national security

“While it is true that Macs are revered in music, movie production and other arts communities, many people do not know that Apple also has a long and active tradition in defense and security that goes back at least to 1989,” Barbara Mende
 reports for MacDirectory.

“Back then, Apple won a contract to supply a minimum of 10,000 Macintosh IIx’s configured for Unix plus a NASA contract for 2,500 Macs for the Johnson Space Center in Houston,” Mende
 reports.

While Apple doesn’t publicize it as widely as it does its connection with Bono, Apple products have figured prominently in protecting our homeland in many key U.S security institutions:
• EchoStorm: Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance Information Services (ISRIS)
• Multiple Advanced Computers for Hypersonics (MACH5)
• Modeling asteroids for NASA
• United States Army Website
• The Texas Air National Guard

Read more in the full article here.

28 Comments

  1. … Mac OS X has ZERO virus ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />
    How long? Since 1999!

    ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” /> Buy AAPL stocks!!
    2010 = $301 no brainer
    2011 = $401 period!
    … Bet on it!

  2. J_T’s comments remind me of the time our government agency was brought down by the Sasser Virus. Some of our firewalls were running Windows, others Solaris. The former obviously were knocked out. So were our e-mail servers (Exchange). And our anti-virus update servers. We were essentially out of business for two days as our Windows platforms had to be updated one by one. (Macs, Linux and Solaris were unaffected, but they could do only so much.)

    Ironically, we were struck a few months after I publicly asked our new CIO if anyone had analyzed the risk of moving more and more of our information resources to Windows. He didn’t know. (It turned out no risk analysis had ever been done.) Of course, the experience changed nothing. By the time I left in ’08 procurement requests for Macs were being blocked.

    I also recall hearing from the incoming CIO of the new Department of Homeland Security that they would be standardizing on … Windows! Most security analysts were, understandably, shocked by the decision. A few groups within DHS use something else, but the mainstream platform remains Windows.

  3. J_T’s comments remind me of the time our government agency was brought down by the Sasser Virus. Some of our firewalls were running Windows, others Solaris. The former obviously were knocked out. So were our e-mail servers (Exchange). And our anti-virus update servers. We were essentially out of business for two days as our Windows platforms had to be updated one by one. (Macs, Linux and Solaris were unaffected, but they could do only so much.)

    Ironically, we were struck a few months after I publicly asked our new CIO if anyone had analyzed the risk of moving more and more of our information resources to Windows. He didn’t know. (It turned out no risk analysis had ever been done.) Of course, the experience changed nothing. By the time I left in ’08 procurement requests for Macs were being blocked.

    I also recall hearing from the incoming CIO of the new Department of Homeland Security that they would be standardizing on … Windows! Most security analysts were, understandably, shocked by the decision. A few groups within DHS use something else, but the mainstream platform remains Windows.

  4. On a related note, Microsoft is proposing that sick PCs be banned from the internet:

    http://www.infoworld.com/t/malware/microsoft-ban-sick-pcs-the-internet-945

    “Software giant calls for a collective health policy to certify a PC’s health and restrict the Internet access of PCs infected with malware”

    “Now Microsoft is arguing that the security community needs to develop a collective health policy to restrict sick PCs — those infected with malware — from connecting to the Internet.”

  5. On a related note, Microsoft is proposing that sick PCs be banned from the internet:

    http://www.infoworld.com/t/malware/microsoft-ban-sick-pcs-the-internet-945

    “Software giant calls for a collective health policy to certify a PC’s health and restrict the Internet access of PCs infected with malware”

    “Now Microsoft is arguing that the security community needs to develop a collective health policy to restrict sick PCs — those infected with malware — from connecting to the Internet.”

  6. There were lots of Macs at the NASA Johnson Space Center in the starting in the mid to late 1980’s and extending into the early 1990’s. The prices on Macs were kept too high, which began to eat into their numbers. But the real hit was the Jack Garman crusade against Macs in the mid 1990s. Fortunately, Macs (particularly MacBook Pros) have made a substantial comeback at NASA since the early 2000s.

  7. There were lots of Macs at the NASA Johnson Space Center in the starting in the mid to late 1980’s and extending into the early 1990’s. The prices on Macs were kept too high, which began to eat into their numbers. But the real hit was the Jack Garman crusade against Macs in the mid 1990s. Fortunately, Macs (particularly MacBook Pros) have made a substantial comeback at NASA since the early 2000s.

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