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The Pentagon’s cybersecurity failings, and the cure

In the mid-1980s the Pentagon started shifting away from specially built secure computers to commercial off-the-shelf systems which the Department of Defense baptized as COTS. 

Today, the Pentagon is awash in insecure computers, networks, servers and other equipment.

But even before the shift to COTS, the Defense Department, like other Federal agencies, was buying mainframe and mini computers such as the IBM 360/370 and the CDC series of VAX 11 (PDP-11) computers. 

These computers enabled command and control systems to work effectively and were the backbone for the design of modern weapons, including strategic missiles and combat aircraft.