- The Washington Times - Friday, October 18, 2019

The military announced Thursday it has retired the 8-inch floppy disks that were used to receive a presidential order to fire nuclear missiles.

Lt. Col. Jason Rossi told c4isrnet.com that it has retired the floppy disks used on its dated 1970s computer with a “highly secure solid-state digital storage solution.”

The computer — called Strategic Automated Command and Control System, or SACCS — is an old system designed to receive nuclear force action messages and is considered unhackable because it predates the creation of the internet.

“You can’t hack something that doesn’t have an IP address. It’s a very unique system — it is old, and it is very good,” Mr. Rossi said.

The Department of Defense said in 2016 it would replace the SACCS computer and “update its data storage solutions, port expansion processors, portable terminals, and desktop terminals by the end of fiscal year 2017.”

The Air Force hasn’t shared whether it followed through on that promise.

While the system is old, the Air Force says the age of the system makes nuclear launches safer, and a new computer system could jeopardize that.

“You have to be able to certify that an adversary can’t take control of that weapon, that the weapon will be able to do what it’s supposed to do when you call on it,” said Dr. Werner J.A. Dahm, chairman of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board, in 2016.

• Bailey Vogt can be reached at bvogt@washingtontimes.com.

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