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Pentagon chiefs buy net-security early warning system

'Arming the cyber warrior'

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US weapons megacorp Raytheon is chuffed to announce that it and allied firms have landed a $28m deal from the Pentagon to provide an early-warning system for defence against cyber attacks on military networks.

The programme in question is referred to by the Defence Information Systems Agency (DISA) as "Network Operations Situational Awareness" or NetOps SA. NetOps SA is just one of the netwar systems the agency intends to procure in coming years, under the general slogan "Arming the Cyber Warrior". (Powerpoint Presentation here.)

According to DISA, NetOps SA will primarily use two "classified thin client web applications" known as the Global Information Grid Customizable Operational Picture (GIGCOP) and the User-Defined Operational Picture (CND UDOP). The new NetOps SA deal with Raytheon will see these tools integrated into one system and further developed.

"Our work providing end-to-end cybersecurity to the GIG networks is a valuable guide as we design a robust system to protect the DoD's sensitive information," said Raytheon netwar chief Andy Zogg.

It seems that the UDOP app at least was originally developed by General Dynamics, who are now part of the NetOps SA consortium along with Raytheon, SAIC, Eye Street Software and BCMC.

Overall the purpose of NetOps SA seems to be to act as a kind of early-warning screen for network-defence sysadmin cyberwarriors, letting them know at once when the hats of a different colour begin to probe and meddle with their networks. Or as Raytheon put it, NetOps SA will "enable the Department of Defense to quickly detect network intrusions and assess the overall health of its network".

Raytheon seem to be having a bit of a push into cyberwar gear at the moment, having recently unveiled their SureView™ "government insider threat management" spy- or mole-sniffer tech to an astonished world. ®

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