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CYBER WARFARE, CLOUD COMPUTING AND HOMELAND SECURITY UPDATE

04 Aug 13. The U.S. government’s efforts to recruit talented hackers could suffer from the recent revelations about its vast domestic surveillance programs, as many private researchers express disillusionment with the National Security Agency. Though hackers tend to be anti-establishment by nature, the NSA and other intelligence agencies had made major inroads in recent years in hiring some of the best and brightest, and paying for information on software flaws that help them gain access to target computers and phones. Much of that goodwill has been erased after the NSA’s classified programs to monitor phone records and Internet activity were exposed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, according to prominent hackers and cyber experts. A turn in the community’s sentiment was on show at two major security conventions in Las Vegas this week: Black Hat, which attracts more established cyber professionals, and Def Con, which gets a larger gathering of younger, more independent hackers.
“We’ve gone backwards about 10 years in the relations between the good guys and the U.S. government,” said Alex Stamos, a veteran security researcher who was to give a Def Con talk on Saturday on the need to revisit industry ethics.
Stamos has willingly briefed FBI and NSA officials on his work in the past, but said that he would now want their questions in writing and he would bring a lawyer to any meeting. With top intelligence officials warning in March that cyber attacks and cyber espionage have supplanted terrorism as the top security threat facing the United States, the administration is trying to boost security in critical infrastructure and the military is vastly increasing its ranks of computer specialists. The NSA, working with the Department of Homeland Security, has been lending more of its expertise to protect defense contractors, banks, utilities and other industries that are being spied upon or attacked by rival nations. These efforts rely on recruiting talented hackers and working with professionals in the private sector. (Source: Reuters)

02 Aug 13. Booz Allen Hamilton has now won four of the Full and Open
Pillar contracts involving a range of full system lifecycle support activities for the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Atlantic (SCC Atlantic). Most recently, the firm won a contract with a total ceiling of nearly $900m to support the integrated cybersecurity and Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (C4ISR) operations of the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Atlantic (SCC Atlantic). The competitive ID/IQ contract has an initial one-year period of performance, with four, one-year options that could extend the work through July 2018. SSC Atlantic, an engineering command within the U.S. Navy, delivers adaptive and secure solutions to many naval, joint and national agencies. Under the terms of the MAC, Booz Allen will support a broad array of cybersecurity, information assurance and information operations projects for the Navy, Marine Corps, and other components of the Department of Defense. The scope of the contract also covers full system lifecycle support including research, development, testing, evaluation, production and fielding of C4ISR information technology systems. (Source: Yahoo!/BUSINESS WIRE)

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