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2020-12-25 19:17 by Karl Denninger
in Corruption , 1467 references Ignore this thread
So That Nice Emergency System You THINK You Have...
[Comments enabled]

There's stupid and then there's really stupid, corrupt or both.

This morning at 6:30 AM we had a vivid demonstration of both.

And a warning on several levels.

Someone apparently drove an RV into downtown Nashville, a rather non-descript area of honkytonks (bars) and restaurants early this morning, started a recorded message playing on loudspeakers that said there was bomb inside that was about go off, a "shots fired" call was put into the cops (maybe there were, maybe there were not) and indeed there was a bomb.

A pretty decent-sized bomb.

Not Tim McVeigh sized, but decent.

It collapsed one building, damaged perhaps 20 more, some severely, injured a few people and made a hell of a mess.

The cops had responded to the shots fired call, immediately recognized the "this RV is going to blow up" message as a reasonably-coherent threat (which did not require much brainpower when it's being announced over a loudspeaker!) and evacuated people, which undoubtedly saved lives.  But unlike most bomb threats (which are false) this one came with no warning until a few minutes before it blew up so there was no way to try defusing it.  By the time the bomb squad could get there it had blown up.

And more importantly the "RV" appears to have been strategically placed.

You see, you don't put an audio warning "This is a bomb and is about to explode!" on the bomb if you want to kill people.  You just park it somewhere and blow it up, preferably at a really busy time and place.  At its core terrorism as the name implies is about terrorizing.  Yes, this was terrorizing but the only reason to put out a warning is to decrease the number of humans you destroy, which strongly suggests the intended target of destruction was physical -- that is, infrastructure -- rather than human.

And boy, did we get a demonstration of that.

No, not that 20 buildings were damaged, including a few bars, restaurants and apartments.  No, this thing went off right near a hardened communications facility.  But not really very well hardened -- although it was apparently a hell of a lot more important than it appeared.

Why?

911 and some cell service is still down in both parts of Nashville and impacts are occurring all over the area including into both Kentucky and Alabama -- and as far east as Knoxville!

How about MDTs in cop cars?  No idea.  Encrypted trunking (that runs over mobile IP networks) for tactical use by police and similar?  No idea.  There was a ground stop at the Nashville airport for a while -- apparently communications related.  Indeed there have been multiple tweets saying "if you can't get through on 911 here are ordinary numbers that are still working" which implies that the infrastructure damage is a hell of a lot worse than you think it is.  As these apparently came some time after the blast we can reasonably assume they were power infrastructure related rather than direct physical damage which would have led to immediate loss of service.

But think about this for a minute folks: All that came from one bomb.

There's something very odd about this attack.  It was clearly not intended to kill lots of people, because the bomber gave warning to run first.  Therefore it was intended to destroy material.  It was quite precisely placed to destroy specific material, not at random, because just blowing up an RV in the middle of butt**** nowhere doesn't do anything, and yet where it was placed wasn't where you'd think someone would make a political statement (e.g. in front of a courthouse, the State Legislature, etc.)  Nor was it driven into a chemical plant, oil refinery or similar.

This looked like an ordinary commercial street except..... it isn't quite that.

There's a communications center there.  Which, having run an ISP, having had gear in a colo and worked in similar places come in a few different shapes, sizes, and redundancies.  The "extension" ones are really not all that big of a deal and in just a building as there's nothing important there except some end terminations and concentrators (e.g. fiber down to individual DS3s, DS1s, a cable head end, fiber concentrator and amplifier/repeaters, etc.)  But where switches and routers are located on the core of a metropolitan or regional network is another matter.  They're quite well-hardened against this sort of insult whether due to act of God, accident or otherwise.  MFS Datanet's was in Prudential Plaza for a while (one of the reasons I put MCSNet's offices there) and I've worked in both there and the various other locations all around the nation a number of times over the years.

You're supposed to, for critical infrastructure like 911, have redundancy in that regard too.  More than one path for fiber over redundant entries and exits so a single break does not hose you, more than one means of power and more than one switch each of which are geographically diverse and can cover the requirements if one of them goes down for some reason -- like a fire, natural disaster -- or bomb.

I've done this sort of design work in the private sector before and have caught things like supposedly "redundant" fiber feeds into a building that in fact came into the building in the same ****ing conduit!  One poorly-placed jackhammer or backhoe (or a bomb) and.... oops.

That work clearly wasn't done here or someone just didn't give a crap.  Cell service, which these days is considered more reliable and essential than landlines apparently all ran through or were dependent on something that got cut off in that building.  911 for the area, similar.  And the impacts weren't just downtown; they extended 100 miles to the south into Alabama, another 100 north into Kentucky and all the way east into Knoxville!

All this out of one little bomb, which leads to an immediate presumption that ought to raise your eyebrows: Whoever set it off knew that in advance which is why they set it off where they did.

So much for our government and it's allegedly "hardened" and "redundant" infrastructure for such things which were supposed to be paid attention to and remedied after 9/11.  Everyone remembers that, right?  I sure do.

Obviously, 20 years later, it was not only not done it's worse now than it was then.

This doesn't smell random to me folks.

No, it smells like a warning, and a very effectively-delivered one too.

Whoever did it was either the luckiest SOB alive to hit that specific place or whoever did this had inside knowledge along with intent and knew to hit that specific place.  And the loudspeaker warning is about as solid of evidence that you're going to ever see that whoever did this knew damn well what they were doing and what impact it would have.

If you want my opinion this was either a warning or a declaration of irregular warfare.

Now maybe I'm wrong about that and it's just one smart ******* with a beef.  Might be. One very disgruntled and smart former employee who got ****-canned for some jackass in India, for example.  Could be, but I'll take the under on that until proved otherwise, because the alternative -- that we have flat-out criminally incompetent corporate folks who can't design and run a commercial, say much less high-security government data network that will survive one building having its power cut off whether by natural disaster or criminal act is more than a bit concerning, don't you think?

So if that's correct and there was coordination and planning the question is which was it, and if a first shot who's it aimed at?  Social media and communications companies?  The police?  A precursor to something far more-ugly?

I have no clue but this much I'm sure of -- you can't expect a straight answer from the so-called investigators when they work for the same agency that couldn't be bothered to have redundancy in their 911 system to start with.

I hope I'm wrong and this was just one pissed-off dude.

I don't want to have to fly the "Told 'Ya So" flag again on this one.

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User Info So That Nice Emergency System You THINK You Have... in forum [Market-Ticker]
Jack_crabb
Posts: 10323
Incept: 2010-06-25

Peoples' Republik of Maryland
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Seriously, at this point, I don't care if you
Quote:
have to fly the "Told 'Ya So" flag again on this one.


Leftists and tyrannical ****s have been asking for it in spades.

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Molon Labe
Where is Henry Bowman when you need him?
How many are willing to pledge this? We mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our Sacred Honor
Zappafan
Posts: 4641
Incept: 2007-11-30

Atlanta
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If this is more than a lone wolf thing, well know soon I think. Taking out command and control infrastructure is one of the things the military knows well. It is always a precursor to a larger attack.


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The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it's profitable to continue ... At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they'll just take down the scenery, they'll pull back the curtains, they 'll move the tables & chairs out of the way & you'll see the brick wall at the back of the theater
Debtfree2200
Posts: 64
Incept: 2015-10-29

Anywhere besides the Wuhan Wet market
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North East blackout of 2003. A software bug for an alarm system in a control room Ohio shuts down the power to almost the entire north east. Hardened and redundant.
It was a nice afternoon so I bugged out of work and I went fishing while others panicked.
Augeries
Posts: 145
Incept: 2019-09-26

"North of Boston" whatever that means
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Reminds me of the city I grew up in. Maybe 10-12 years ago, a crackhead left his pipe lit, which set his mattress on fire. He was sleeping under a bridge where the main Verizon line was run. Took out comms, cell, internet, EMS, to millions. It is obvious that the proper legwork has never been done on any of these systems. Imagine my shock.

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The World is Quiet Here
Cvdoc
Posts: 475
Incept: 2009-06-11

Washington, DC
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Zappa makes a good point.

Lets hope this is one pissed off dude. And he is found quickly.

COVID-19 has stretched our first responder infrastructure thin. Im sure the FBI have their best people on this. The operational security by whom ever did this is good. FBI isnt trusted in those parts of the country.

It will be interesting to see if security is hardened around the Major Data Center Locations for Verizon, T-mobile and Straight talk.

My initial gut reaction was this was done by Bidencon to scare Trump supporters from going to the January 6th March on DC. Now Im not so sure. Its a scary day for the wolf when the sheep realize that they can overpower him by shear numbers. Just not sure who the wolf is.

The lack of redundancy is most concerning.

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Few men desire liberty; most men wish only for a just master.
Sallust
Smacktle
Posts: 3886
Incept: 2009-01-20

Texas
Online
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Definitely not the usual muslim terrorist attack. They would never give a warning.

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Who is Jack_crabbe?
Robodog
Posts: 399
Incept: 2011-06-12

Isle of red in sea of blue MD
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Redundancy costs money, which lowers earnings and adversely affects share prices & the pay packages of the brass. This myopia mirrors much of giant global corporations manglersangers balance sheet destruction the past twenty years. Ascertaining the who and why would be insightful.

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Contemptione ad tyrannidem est obedientia ad Deum.
...banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies...Thomas Jefferson
Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away. Philip K. Dick
Cvdoc
Posts: 475
Incept: 2009-06-11

Washington, DC
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Fort Campbell in close proximity.

Cui Bono? CCP

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Few men desire liberty; most men wish only for a just master.
Sallust
Asimov
Posts: 124250
Incept: 2007-08-26

East Tennessee
Online
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Quote:
If you want my opinion this was either a warning or a declaration of irregular warfare.


I'm leaning toward the second, and while I was waiting for TF to come back (problems tonight? Or problems between me and you?) I ran across this:

E wrote..
Re: Nashville.
Their objective was to knock out communications (including 911) in the area for a short while.
Not to injure people.
You aren't looking at a terrorist attack.
You are looking at a small piece of a much larger scheme that was underway by sophisticated operatives.
Whoever detonated the RV, knew exactly what they were doing.

The real crime didn't happen in Nashville, it happened in the giant blind spot that was created by the blast.


Wonder if we'll find out anytime soon?

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It's justifiably immoral to deal morally with an immoral entity.

Festina lente.
M1919a2
Posts: 862
Incept: 2015-07-18

Washington
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Irgun
Maurevel
Posts: 712
Incept: 2009-06-14

Canada
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I would care.

* This is where you really need competent intelligence agencies
* The fact that nobody claimed the attack doesn't mean the intended audience wasn't privately notified.

Rollformer
Posts: 1175
Incept: 2013-02-13

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So, from a conspiracy point of view, the primary concern here is a conspiracy of dunces at AT&T?
Greenacr
Posts: 178
Incept: 2016-03-15

Northern Ohio
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Seems to me that the FBI/ATF should be able to run this to ground pretty quickly. Ample surveillance video even tracing this back so entry points to the city and on various freeways. Then there's vehicle ID #'s to run down, cell phones to triangulate, video's of the perpetrator (s) exiting the area. There is probably 7 more ways to Sunday for the authorities to run this down beyond what I have listed.
Jwjw
Posts: 106
Incept: 2019-07-13

Rocky Mountains
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@Robodog wrote "Redundancy costs money, which lowers earnings and adversely affects share prices & the pay packages of the brass."

Taleb wrote about black swans as being unpredictable with massive impact. Those telco managers and consultants will shuffle their feet, chant "black swan", and everyone will nod their heads in agreement. This was easily seen as a potential event.

Taleb advocated building in resiliency to take a system through a black swan event. Many skip the resiliency part to make their bonus. It's not going to change, other than calls for more police surveillance.

And I observe this was done on one of the least busy days of the year, apparently to avoid damage to human life.
Village-idjit
Posts: 886
Incept: 2010-06-09

B'ham WA
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@cvdoc -

"And he is found quickly." I hope he is not. Look folks, IF the radical left gets their way, taking out infrastructure WITHOUT directly taking out lives is one way to fight back. When the left declares war on the "gun loving" White Christian Male, you'll have to make a decision what to do about that.

"Im sure the FBI have their best people on this." That was sarc wasn't it? Their best people have ignored the rule of law, and done everything possible at the highest levels to undermine and smear the present administration.

"COVID-19 has stretched our first responder infrastructure thin." Ah... that pandemic that could be ended in a week with Ivermectin, Vitamin D, Vitamin C. That pandemic extended with ridiculous mask orders, business shutdowns, isolation, destruction of past social norms, the creation of a State of Fear, increases in drug overdoses and suicides. That pandemic that will end with our miracle "Warp Speed" unproven and dangerous vaccine.
Whitehat
Posts: 3898
Incept: 2017-06-27

Elsewhere
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there is a colo building right down the street from me. One from the good old days of the POTS systems. Nice structure, built to last.

When the area converted from copper to fiber i was still contractually obligated to maintain a certain number of copper lines (so glad that is over for me) for emergency communications. About 2012 the communications workers told me that the copper lines were not going to switches anymore but to the VOIP network just as if one did so at the fiber service ONT.

The self-powered POTS running in parallel was gone and they created a phony system to support the copper service for the very few who did not upgrade or felt that they wanted it. The savings from discarding the switching gear was huge.

this building had its own generating capacity in the days of the POTS system. Now however during an area-wide power outage, even if one powers the ONTs himself, there is no data to send a call and cellular towers eventually go down or cannot complete calls even with signal.

Data (VOIP) communications made operations sloppy. It is too easy to get them running half-assed with no redundancy using connections to who knows where. One never knows where the nodes that the provider uses are located or if they are adequately fail safed. It works most of the time, until it does not.

Guaranteed that a POTS switch based 911 system and municipal and state operations communications based upon such would not have gone down as completely with such an attack. Under the old system the offices could have routed most calls through other switches.

BTW during 911 even businesses outside of Manhattan lost phone service as the ATT trunk lines went right through the WTC. Mine was one of them excluding the copper lines. We were down over five months without ability to switch to another carrier nor route incoming calls to the company numbers anywhere else. See all of the carriers shared this colo and it had to be rebuilt from scratch. the NYC system has major bottlenecks, especially for IP systems, and i do not think that even the professionals truly know how it works.

When NYC converted its 911 system from switched telco to IP it was over a decade long **** show. Major stuff never worked and calls did not get through. The old system worked very reliably and was considered a national standard. What we have now is called progress. Not a Luddite here. Progress should be an improvement.

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smiley Gonna be a wild ride.
smiley Nuclear war is survivable.

Ameri-morons will finally learn when that one last stupid mistake unleashes consequences of compounding the previous mistakes into an epic, salient lesson. http://www.amerika.org/politics/arete-th....
Reformedhippy
Posts: 75
Incept: 2020-07-01

Rural, OK
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Some eyewitnesses said the explosion appeared to originate in the building. A more recent CCTV video does not even show the RV in the flashpoint. And considering that similar communications hubs are supposedly fortified to be resistant to earthquakes, nukes and bombs, and the damage to the building looks so extensive, I suspect that there was at least one explosive planted in the building, and there may have been a simultaneous detonation in the RV as cover. There were reports of hearing a few spates of gunshots before the explosion. Perhaps the RV delivered some contractors who shot their way in and planted the bomb(s).
Cvdoc
Posts: 475
Incept: 2009-06-11

Washington, DC
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It gets weirder. The Nashville PD tweeted a photo of the RV driving down the street. No driver. Radio controlled ? AI ?

This isnt good.

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Few men desire liberty; most men wish only for a just master.
Sallust
Krzelune
Posts: 8945
Incept: 2007-10-08

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I think it was 2007 when I read about HSPD-20 (Continuity of Govt policy). After 13 years I now wonder how much of that ever got done.
Maurevel
Posts: 712
Incept: 2009-06-14

Canada
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Quote:

Guaranteed that a POTS switch based 911 system and municipal and state operations communications based upon such would not have gone down as completely with such an attack. Under the old system the offices could have routed most calls through other switches.


When I was a kid, I was concerned about how systems work.

20 years later, I am primarily concerned about how systems fail.

It is a very, very hard sell however. Being failure / catastrophe minded is isolating within an organization. I'm dissolving a business partnership over a failure to agree on the merits of planning & building for disasters.



Jwm_in_sb
Posts: 2677
Incept: 2009-04-16

California Desert
Online
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Yes, well the leftist twitteratti is already claiming that it was white redneck, maga, Trump supporters because it's almost January.
Eleua
Posts: 17771
Incept: 2007-07-05
A True American Patriot!
N 47.72/ W 122.55
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Quote:
it was white redneck, maga, Trump supporters because it's almost January.

We should be so lucky.

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Diversity + proximity = WAR
Until bullets fly and people die, nothing is going to change.
Once you see what the problem is, you can't unsee it.
That kind of sums up the last month since the election, a giant amber alert for Trump's balls. - Davkj1
Loonster
Posts: 177
Incept: 2012-10-28

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I'm getting strong IRA vibes. I doubt they had anything to do with it, just someone with the same MO.
Billhrny
Posts: 55
Incept: 2019-06-19

Northern Virginia
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I've been thinking about this unfortunate and weird incident all day....

My thoughts so far:

1) It was not an Islamic or other State actor terrorist attack...they would want people killed...in this case the criminals went out of their way to reduce collateral damage.

2) It has to do with the election...for the sole reason that I'm assuming all the chaos we have experienced and are experiencing ALL fundamentally have to do with the election.

3) It is probably NOT the Left...again, leftist pissed off enough to set a bomb would probably want to kill some "rednecks," which is probably how most people who live in Nashville are viewed by Antifa/BLM etc.

4) It was probably NOT the organized militant Far-Right but could have been the bat**** crazy Turner Diary Far-Right...if it was the militant far-right you would think they would pick a target in a "Liberal" area....not their own back yard. If they were bat**** total methed-up dumbasses that wanted to start a race war by doing a false flag...they would not want white conservative collateral damage but would be ok with property damage in a conservative area to******the Right off and hope for ignition of CWII.

5) It was a lone individual that had something against a business or businesses in the area and wanted to blow a company up.

6) It was the a business owner and wanted to collect insurance on a business they were about to lose everything on because of the shutdowns..."light a fire" taken to a new level.

I'm think they second option of #4 or possibly #5.
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