Feeds

SF fire dept lost computer password during massive blaze

'Not like we'll have internet if Big One hits'

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

San Francisco authorities appear to be having network problems again, after the Fire Department lost the password for its backup network in the middle of a major shout.

The revelation came into an inquest into a major blaze in the North Beach area of the city on New Year's Eve which left 48 people homeless, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

The paper said that Mayor Ed Lee and other officials "listened with growing disbelief as an emergency services representative casually mentioned that the computer had crashed as the fire burned."

When officials asked whether the firefighters had switched to a backup system, the answer came in the negative.

"We couldn't find the password, and the only person who knew it wasn't there," the rep replied.

The connection was down for two or three hours, but the rep added, "That's what we have pencils and paper for."

The blase attitude might seem strange in a city that lives in constant danger of being hit by a massive earthquake.

But as division chief Rob Dudgeon added, "We still had radios and cellphones. And it's not like we are going to have internet connection if we get hit with the Big One."

It's not the first time SF authorities have come to grief over network passwords. Last year San Francisco's own BoFH Terry Childs was given a four-year sentence for locking the city out of its own network. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Same old iPad? NO. The new 'soft SIMs' are BIG NEWS
AppleSIM 'ware to allow quick switch of carriers
Brits: Google, can you scrape 60k pages from web, pleeease
Hey, c'mon Choc Factory, it's our 'right to be forgotten'
Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author
'Google did have some unique propositions for Nokia'
FCC, Google cast eye over millimetre wireless
The smaller the wave, the bigger 5G's chances of success
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
Mobile coverage on trains really is pants
You thought it was just *insert your provider here*, but now we have numbers
Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)
A bit late, but company says 1Gbps Austin network almost ready to compete with AT&T
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.