Software Insecurity; March 2006; Scientific American Magazine; by Daniel G. Dupont; 1 Page(s)
In February 2005 a group of Pentagon industry advisers warned that the "migration of critical microelectronics manufacturing" from the U.S. to other countries compromised national security. To ensure a steady supply of safe microchips, the Defense Science Board--which advises senior defense officials--recommended establishing "trusted foundries" to make critical hardware. But that is only part of the picture. According to the science board, any effort to improve the safety and supply of microchips would be of "limited utility" without a comparable focus on software--especially on what the Pentagon calls "foreign-influenced software."
The Department of Defense once created its own software, but today only the most highly classified code is written in-house, at places such as the secretive National Security Agency. But a good deal of code for some of the military's most sophisticated weapons--fighter aircraft and missile defense systems, for example--is written in other countries.