US military uses 8-inch floppy disks to coordinate nuclear operations
The U.S. Defense Department is still using — after several decades —
8-inch floppy disks in a computer system that coordinates the
operational functions of the nation's nuclear forces, a jaw-dropping new report reveals.
Defense Department's 1970s-era IBM Series/1 Computer and long-outdated
floppy disks handle functions related to intercontinental ballistic
missiles, nuclear bombers and tanker support aircraft, according to the
new Governmental Accountability Office report.
department's outdated "Strategic Automated Command and Control System"
is one of 10 of the oldest information technology investments or systems
detailed in the sobering GAO report, which calls for a number of
federal agencies "to address aging legacy systems."
The report shows that creaky IT systems are being used to handle
important functions related to the nation's taxpayers, federal prisoners
and military veterans, as well as to the America's nuclear umbrella.
legacy IT systems are becoming increasingly obsolete: Many use outdated
software languages and hardware parts that are unsupported," the report
found. "Agencies reported using several systems that have components
that are, in some cases, at least 50 years old."