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HOMELAND SECURITY

HOMELAND SECURITY

24 Sep 07. The FBI is investigating a major information technology firm with a $1.7bn Department of Homeland Security contract after it allegedly failed to detect cyber break-ins traced to a Chinese-language Web site and then tried to cover up its deficiencies, according to congressional investigators. At the center of the probe is Unisys Corp., a company that in 2002 won a $1bn deal to build, secure and manage the information technology networks for the Transportation Security Administration and DHS headquarters. In 2005, thecompany was awarded a $750m follow-on contract. As part of the contract, Unisys, based in Blue Bell, Pa., was to install network-intrusion detection devices on the unclassified computer systems for the TSA and DHS headquarters and monitor the networks. But according to evidence gathered by the House Homeland Security Committee, Unisys’s failure to properly install and monitor the devices meant that DHS was not aware for at least three months of cyber-intrusions that began in June 2006. Through October of that year, Thompson said, 150 DHS computers — including one in the Office of Procurement Operations, which handles contract data — were compromised by hackers, who sent an unknown quantity of information to a Chinese-language Web site that appeared to host hacking tools.
The contractor also allegedly falsely certified that the network had been protected to cover up its lax oversight, according to the committee. “For the hundreds of millions of dollars that have been spent on building this system within Homeland, we should demand accountability by the contractor,” Thompson said in an interview. “If, in fact, fraud can be proven, those individuals guilty of it should be prosecuted.” A Unisys spokeswoman, Lisa Meyer, said that “no investigative body has notified us formally or informally of a criminal investigation” on the matter and added that she could not comment on specific security incidents. (Source: GCN)

21 Sep 07. American Science and Engineering, Inc. the leader in X-ray detection technology, and The National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center-South East (NLECTC-SE) a program of the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), administered by SCRA, will be debuting a new port security cargo screening system deployed by Project Seahawk for use at the Port of Charleston’s U.S. Customs and Border Protection Container Examination Station. NLECTC-SE has been working with AS&E to deliver and deploy AS&E’s OmniView(TM) Gantry X-ray Inspection system. The system is able to penetrate up to 14 inches of steel, thereby providing port officials a comprehensive and safe means to inspect cargo containers for terrorist threats. The system will be transferred from NLECTC-SE to Project Seahawk and will be operated by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. This effort was funded through a grant from the Office of Justice Programs’ National Institute of Justice. The Port of Charleston, one of the largest container ports in the United States, is home to Project Seahawk, a Law Enforcement Task Force that brings together federal, state and local agencies to improve port security, and serves as a model for ports around the Nation. “This further enhances the Port of Charleston’s aggressive security posture,” said Bernard S. Groseclose Jr., president & CEO of the South Carolina State Ports Authority. “It is vital that increased security be balanced with the smooth flow of commerce. This new unit will help do that.” (Source: ASD Network)

14 Sep 07. Both BAE Systems and Northrop Grumman are seeking to win a new Department of Homeland Security (DHS) contract to test their laser jamming technologies’ ability to protect passenger aircraft from shoulder-fired, heat-seeking missile attacks, company officials confirmed Sept. 13. Both BAE and Northrop Grumman have been using cargo aircraft to test the feasibility of equipping scheduled commercial flights with protection from small missiles know

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