[ISN] Cyberwar Cassandras Get $400 Million in Conflict Cash

From: InfoSec News <alerts_at_private>
Date: Tue, 18 May 2010 00:37:28 -0500 (CDT)

By Noah Shachtman  
Danger Room 
May 17, 2010

Coincidences sure are funny things. Booz Allen Hamilton -- the defense 
contractor that's become synonymous with the idea that the U.S. is 
getting its ass kicked in an ongoing cyberwar -- has racked up more than 
$400 million worth of deals in the past six weeks to help the Defense 
Department fight that digital conflict. Strange how that worked out, 

Everyone in the Pentagon from Defense Secretary Bob Gates on down says 
that the military needs to cut its reliance on outside contractors. But 
few firms are as well-connected as Booz Allen, the one-time management 
consultancy that today pulls in more than $2.7 billion in government 
work. And few firms sound the alarm as loudly about a crisis that 
they're in the business of fixing. Back in February, for instance, 
former National Security Agency director and Booz Allen Hamilton 
executive vice president Mike McConnell declared that "the United States 
is fighting a cyber-war today, and we are losing." The White House's 
information security czar is one of many experts who calls such rhetoric 
overheated, at best. That hasn't stopped Booz Allen from pocketing 
hundreds of millions of dollars from Washington to wage those battles.

Booz Allen's latest awards were announced last Thursday -- nine 
contracts with the Air Force, totaling over $150 million. One deal gives 
the firm $24 million to "provide combat-ready forces to conduct secure 
cyber operations in and through the electromagnetic spectrum." A $19.8 
million contract asks Booz Allen to "define information assurance 
scientific and technical analysis to be applied to future military 
satellite communication systems development." Earlier in the month, the 
company got $14 million to "provide threat monitoring, detection, 
characterization, and actionable information for the computer network 
operations in order to help advance Department of Defense Global 
Information Grid initiative and nationally oriented cyber security 

That sounds not dissimilar to what McConnell asked for in February. "We 
need to develop an early-warning system to monitor cyberspace, identify 
intrusions and locate the source of attacks with a trail of evidence 
that can support diplomatic, military and legal options -- and we must 
be able to do this in milliseconds," he wrote.


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Received on Mon May 17 2010 - 22:37:28 PDT

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