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  • DARPA Seeking to Secure DoD’s wireless networks March 26, 2013

    The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is soliciting proposals for research to develop situational awareness to protect wireless defense networks, Defense Systems reports.

    Insufficient attention has been paid to identifying and mitigating vulnerabilities arising from new features being added to make these military wireless networks more efficient, the agency said.

    The Wireless Network Defense program will develop and demonstrate technologies for controlling wireless networks. As the use of wireless systems expands, the likelihood of network compromise, whether maliciously or by unwitting misconfiguration, will increase, DARPA believes.

  • Amazon may have scored a multimillion-dollar deal with the CIA March 21, 2013

    FCW reported late Tuesday that the CIA has inked a cloud-computing contract with Amazon, which could yield $600 million for that e-commerce group over 10 years.

    Sources told FCW that Amazon Web Services will help the CIA build a private cloud infrastructure that will help the intelligence agency “keep up with emerging technologies like big data in a cost-effective manner not possible” under the CIA’s prior cloud efforts. Neither Amazon, nor the CIA (oddly enough) would comment on the matter, FCW said.

    But did FCW point out that recently, CIA officials have hinted that they’ll be changing the way the agency procures software and uses big-data analysis.

    The big picture on this deal isn’t so clear right now, but it will likely bring a “public cloud computing environment inside the secure firewalls of the intelligence community, thereby negating concerns of classified data being hosted in any public environment,” says FCW.


  • IT reform bill passes committee, but concerns remain March 21, 2013

    The House Oversight Committee approved the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act with little debate and no amendments, but there are still questions about the legislation.

    The 61-page bill addresses several long-standing issues, including how best to improve program and project management, IT acquisition workforce certifications and giving more authority to agency chief information officers.

    [Federal News Radio]

  • Sequestration delays critical Defense Department cyber hiring March 15, 2013

    The Department of Defense is creating dozens of teams to protect its computer networks, but like so many initiatives, sequestration is threatening the teams in multiple ways, Federal News Radio reported. DOD’s U.S. Cyber Command plans to hire as many as 900 employees over the next few years to create three sets of teams to defend their networks and go on the offensive against attackers. Gen. Keith Alexander, commander of the Cyber Command, said it already is developing the tactics, techniques and procedures for how these teams will work.

    [Federal News Radio]

  • Appropriations bill would allow DOD to pull trigger on billions in programs February 26, 2013

    Passage of a defense appropriations bill would allow the military to pull the trigger on billions in contracts before potential cuts from sequestration bring a lot of new projects to a halt, Pentagon officials said during a Tuesday hearing before the House Appropriations Committee.
    Federal agencies are currently functioning under a continuing resolution that keeps funding at the prior year’s levels, which means they unable to initiate new programs. But a defense appropriations bill, which House members are trying to nail down, would allow some purchases to move forward, perhaps softening the blow that will come if $1.2 trillion in sequestration cuts kick in Friday as scheduled.
    The procurements that could move forward include a multiyear contract for the V-22 Osprey, a tiltrotor aircraft manufactured by Bell Helicopter and The Boeing Co.
    “It would save $1 billion if I had the authority to actually sign a multiyear contract today,” leveraging long term pricing, said James Amos, commandant of the Marine Corps.
    He also pointed to $730 million for military construction “sitting in accounts to build facilities” for, among other things, accommodations for Lockheed Martin Corp.’s Joint Strike Fighter aircraft.
    “On military construction, if we stay in a [continuing resolution], I can’t execute those contracts. The money goes away” at the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30, Amos said.
    Similarly, Chief of Naval Operations Jonathan Greenert said there are “hundreds of things we want to get started, ” including quantity increases for aircraft and ships.
    “Time is so critical because of the lost opportunities,” he said. Passage of an appropriations bill at least would mean “would mean we can carry on.”


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