[ISN] Trio vying for encryption work

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Thu Oct 17 2002 - 22:50:15 PDT

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    By Dan Caterinicchia
    Oct. 17, 2002
    The National Security Agency recently selected three vendor teams to
    compete to develop Gigabit Ethernet encryptors (GigEE) supporting the
    secure exchange of top-secret information at speeds of at least 1
    gigabit/sec over commercial Internet Protocol wide-area networks.
    ViaSat Inc., L-3 Communications and General Dynamics C4 Systems
    recently were awarded 30-month, $10 million development contracts, and
    are all competing for future production awards, said Bruce Rowe,
    ViaSat's director of marketing and communications.
    One gigabit/sec is the equivalent of about 48,000 typewritten pages
    per second, according to General Dynamics C4 Systems, a division of
    General Dynamics Corp.
    All three companies are developing their tools in compliance with the
    NSA's High Assurance IP Interoperability Specification (HAIPIS), which
    will ensure interoperability with all future generations of IP
    encryptors developed for government agencies.
    "This development is under the auspices of NSA for development of the
    technology and prototypes, which will then be available to any
    government military [service] or agency to use," Rowe said.
    ViaSat's Type-1 IP In-line Network Encryptor (INE) will advance
    current static hardware products with a re-programmable architecture
    that enables the device to accept new features and upgrades in the
    future, said Jerry Goodwin, network systems director for ViaSat.
    ViaSat's government systems division is the prime contractor, and its
    other team members include:
    * BBN Technologies, which is providing advanced networking
      capabilities as well as advanced key management expertise.
    * NAI Labs at Network Associates Inc., which is providing network
      management expertise.
    General Dymanics' first GigEE prototype will be delivered in the
    fourth quarter of 2004, and will carry forward the designs developed
    for General Dynamics' IP and ATM Taclane and Fastlane ATM Encryptors,
    said Dick Perreault, General Dynamics vice president and general
    manager for trusted network solutions.
    Perreault said the GigEE program represents the evolution of
    high-assurance Type 1 encryption "to address the increasing speeds at
    which current and future networks transmit information."
    L-3's solution was based upon the Camden, N.J.-based company's current
    product line of 100-megabits/sec high-assurance in-line encryptor
    products, said Gregory Roberts, president of L-3 Communication Systems
    - East.
    The GigEE program provides for an expansion of two L-3 product lines:  
    the Secure Terminal Equipment and OMNI families of secure
    communications products. Roberts added that the company's Petra
    product, currently in the design phase, also is included in the NSA
    offering. Petra utilizes a PC Card to ensure high-assurance remote
    access for use by dial-up users.
    "With our own internal R&D funding in the GigEE program, L-3 plans to
    expand the capabilities of our product offerings in both features...
    [and] satisfy the increasing demand for classified bandwidth for the
    warfighter and their support infrastructure," Roberts said.
    The NSA awarded all three contracts Aug. 23.
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