[F]or 15 years during the Cold War, the code meant to prevent unauthorized launching of the United States’ arsenal of Minuteman nuclear missiles was apparently “00000000.”
The alarmingly insecure “Permissive Action Link” (PAL) code first came to light in 2004, after Bruce Blair, a former Minuteman missile launch control officer, disclosed it in a column for the Center for Defense Information.
This has been racing across the Internet, though most of the stories I have been seeing have been neglecting a rather critical point; this code was only for the physical launch of the missiles, that is, not the arming of the actual nuclear warheads.
Meaning, if someone somehow had captured a silo, they could theoretically launch missiles, but they wouldn’t create a nuclear detonation on impact.
Then again, the Soviets wouldn’t’ve known that, so presumably would have launched actual armed nukes…hm, maybe this really was as bad as it seemed in the early articles, albeit not in quite the way originally presented.
Via Huffington Post.