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Joe St Sauver, Ph.D. at the University of Oregon gave a rather grim presentation at the Internet2 Member Meeting last week.

He points out the potentially serious issue of electromagnetic pulse (EMP) and pandemic flu as threats. While some might feel this is a good opportunity to bring out the Good Old Aluminum Foil, it is interesting stuff, possibly serious and having a basic understanding of these types of threats is worthwhile.

Today we’re going to talk about two unusual threats: high altitude electromagnetic pulse (EMP) effects and pandemic flu.

Those may seem like a couple of odd topics. After all, aren’t system and network security guys supposed to worry about stuff like network firewalls, hacked systems, denial of service attacks, computer viruses, patching, and when you last changed your password? Sure. No question about it, those are all important system- and network-related security topics, and those are all topics which have been covered repeatedly in a variety of fora.

Given all those sort of mundane threats, it can be hard to think about “throw it long”/less-talked-about threats — after all, there are just too many high profile day-to-day operational IT security threats which we have to worry about instead, right? No – emphatically no! You need to worry about both the day-to-day stuff, and the really bad (but thankfully less common) stuff, too.

Check it out here (pdf)

Alex Eckelberry
(with thanks for Paul Ferguson for the link.)