Software supplier Symantec accidentally warned customers of an internet meltdown last week.
A false warning issued from Symantec's DeepSight warned that a devastating attack was under way. The message, which went out at 8.40pm Eastern time, stated "DeepSight Increased ThreatCon from 1 to 4 Alert".
The mark is decided by Symantec based on the patterns of attacks, though in this case it was probably more down to the control room officer being "double-dared" to push the red button.
Symantec has never issued a genuine ThreatCon 4 alert and has only rarely gone to ThreatCon 3 when, no doubt, it felt users were not updating their anti-virus packages regularly enough.
Downtime wonders what would constitute a ThreatCon 4 type situation. Giant rodents gnawing on network cables? The internet becoming sentient and launching an attack on mankind like in "Terminator 3"?
If you can think of a more appropriate situation where the circumstances warrant a ThreatCon 4 rating, let us know.