Hanford News and Los Alamos

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) came about because of Hanford–the nuclear facility where we got the nuclear components for the worlds first atomic bombs. Those scientists and engineers at Hanford were gradually put to work on other projects. The scope increased to where today there is virtually no scientific or engineering task that is off limits for the people there. Although when I was there I worked, literally, a stone’s throw from the Hanford reservation I wasn’t part of Hanford. The name Hanford still persists in the vocabulary of the people as a synonym for more that what is, technically, not Hanford.

With that as background I now present you with Hanford News where the top story of today (and probably for several days but I just noticed it today) is the story of my lawsuit against Battelle who has the contract to manage the laboratory.

What is just as interesting to me is how I happen to run across the story. It was all because someone at another national laboratory, Los Alamos, happen to come visiting:

Domain Name lanl.gov ? (United States Government)
IP Address 128.165.116.# (Los Alamos National Laboratory)
ISP Los Alamos National Laboratory
Location
Continent  : North America
Country  : United States  (Facts)
State  : New Mexico
City  : Los Alamos
Lat/Long  : 35.8639, -106.2953 (Map)
Distance  : 931 miles
Language English (United States)
en-us
Operating System Macintosh MacOSX
Browser Firefox 2.0
Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; PPC Mac OS X Mach-O; en-US; rv:1.8.1.1) Gecko/20061204 Firefox/2.0.0.1
Javascript version 1.5
Monitor
Resolution  :  1680 x 1050
Color Depth  :  32 bits
Time of Visit   Jan 3 2007 2:12:13 pm
Last Page View Jan 3 2007 2:12:13 pm
Visit Length 0 seconds
Page Views   1
Referring URL http://www.pnnl.info/
Visit Entry Page http://blog.joehuffm…Their Attention.aspx
Visit Exit Page http://blog.joehuffm…Their Attention.aspx
Out Click  
Time Zone UTC-7:00
Visitor’s Time Jan 3 2007 3:12:13 pm
Visit Number 124,413

They came from my PNNL.INFO site. That’s interesting! So I looked at the log files form that site and I watched, in real time, as five different people (well, five different computers anyway) from Los Alamos poked around. They found my site via a Google search (http://www.google.com/search?q=pnnl+wrongful+termination ). I did the same search and found the Hanford New story. One person did the search and the other four soon started hitting my site directly and some of them eventually visited my blog. How interesting.

I was chatting on line with my friend Sean (Sean, I told you 10 different IP addresses but there was a bug in the script that I used to count them) as I watched in real time as one person looked at my performance reviews at PNNL. Sean suggested, “Maybe he’s a hiring manager.” What a kick! I took Sean out to dinner after that.

What bugs me though is that the web browsing security at Los Alamos is no better than at PNNL. I was able to determine the exact computer name of each of the participants in their visit to my website. I can’t do that with visits from any other company that I notice visiting me. Microsoft, for example, has proxies in place that prevent that. Even visits from private homes, such as from my family in Moscow, Idaho are impossible to resolve to a specific computer name. What is it with these, supposedly, high security facilities that they have such gaping holes in their security?

Beating Lyle to the punch line: They are government facilities. Do you expect competence?

One thought on “Hanford News and Los Alamos

  1. Good point about the security. Then again, they could have 100% bulletproof network security and the humans would still be there. As I recall, there were Russian spies working inside Los Alamos during its most vital period in the 1940s. With no internet they were able to smuggle information to the Stalinists in near real time.

    What are the odds, given American resolve in the 1940s as compared to American resolve in 2007, that things are any better now? From that alone I’d say they’d likely be 10 times as bad today, and that network security is one of the least of their problems. Iron door on a grass hut and all that.

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