[ISN] NCS prepping 'gee-whiz' pilot

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Fri Sep 27 2002 - 00:10:00 PDT

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    By Dan Caterinicchia 
    Sept. 26, 2002
    The National Communications System is in the early stages of a Global
    Early Warning Information System (GEWIS) pilot project in which
    government and industry will examine the health and topology of the
    The pilot project will assess how well critical areas of the Internet
    are performing worldwide, and then use that data to notify government,
    industry or U.S. allies of an impending cyberattack or possible
    disturbance, said Brenton Greene, deputy manager of NCS.
    Those indicators will include looking at the performance of selected
    government and industry e-commerce sites, as well as tools to identify
    and detect worms or denial of service attacks, he said, adding that
    the pilot project (also called the Global Cyber Early Warning
    Information System) will not be ready for launch until next year.
    "It's still early, but this is an idea whose time has come," Greene
    told FCW during an interview at his office in Arlington, Va. "The more
    we scratch at it, the more fascinating it gets."
    NCS, which is co-managed by the White House and the Defense
    Information Systems Agency, assists the president, the National
    Security Council and federal agencies with their telecommunications
    functions and coordinates the government's national security and
    emergency preparedness communications. NCS includes the Government
    Emergency Telecommunications Service and the Wireless Priority Service
    in which government workers are given a code and are categorized for
    priority access. These services are used in emergencies and responded
    well following last year's Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
    The NCS also is working on two other pilot projects aimed at improving
    the reliability and speed of the telecommunications and wireless
    systems for first responders and other key personnel during a national
    crisis or disaster.
    The first is an emergency notification system that would use
    Internet-based, wireless and other telecommunications to notify a "few
    thousand key people" in the Washington, D.C., area during a national
    disaster. That test would include the contact information of key
    personnel and would attempt to reach them by the fastest method
    available, Greene said.
    The other NCS pilot project is aimed at establishing a backup dial
    tone for key federal buildings, Greene said, adding that the agency is
    in the "finalizing look at several technologies," including free space
    optics, which uses high-bandwidth laser links between buildings'
    backbones at close ranges.
    Greene said he hopes to have those two pilots in limited release in
    October or November.
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