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Homeland Security

Verizon to Support DHS Emergency Communications

June 2, 2014

Verizon Business Network Services Incorporated, Ashburn, Virginia, was awarded a $10,567,483 firm-fixed-price contract for the priority telecommunication service to support the Department of Homeland Security Office of Emergency Communications. This contract has a nine-month base period and nine one-year option periods. If all options are exercised, the total cumulative contract value is $81,027,515. The Defense Information Technology Contracting Organization (DITCO), Scott Air Force Base, Illinois is the contracting activity (HC1013-14-C-0002).

DHS Awards Surveillance Contract

January 22, 2013
George I. Seffers

 
Integrated Microwave Technologies LLC (IMT), Mount Olive, N.J., has been awarded a Technical Investigative Surveillance (TechOps) contract by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. IMT’s contract is a competitive five-year Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity agreement, awarded in the video category, which includes covert video equipment such as transmitters and receivers offering mobile, fixed and multiple concealment technologies. IMT will deliver interoperable technical investigative surveillance solutions in support of federal agency requirements. 

Evidence of Possible Spring Cyber Attack on Banking Industry

January 3, 2013
By Max Cacas

The purpose of the attack is purely robbery, says a cyber expert, who has shared his McAfee report with government officials.

A cyber attack that could result in the theft of millions of dollars from American banks could take place this spring, according to a report from a noted cybersecurity expert. 
“What we’re dealing with here is a digital bank robber,” according to Ryan Sherstobitoff, a threats researcher with McAfee Labs and the principal author of the report entitled, “Analyzing Project Blitzkrieg, a Credible Threat.” And the attack mastermind could take additional steps to deter attacked banks from defending themselves and hinder their ability to recover stolen funds following such an attack.

The group behind the potential attack “is a collaboration or an alliance of ‘botmasters’ run by an individual named vorVzakone with the clear intention of robbing financial institutions,” Sherstobitoff explains in a report that was issued in mid-December. The white paper is based on months of in-depth analysis of Project Blitzkrieg, as it has been dubbed by vorVzakone’s website, and tracking the online activities of vorVzakone dating back to late summer 2012. “We know from forum posts he had published on an underground Russian cyberforum that was really meant for cybercriminals,” explains Sherstobitoff.  Those posts detailed how the attack was to be coordinated around the release of a variant of the trojan malware popularly known in the hacker community as Gozi Prinimalka.

DHS Awards 34 Cyber Research and Development Contracts

October 29, 2012
George I. Seffers

The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (DHS S&T) has awarded 34 contracts to 29 academic and research organizations for research and development of solutions to cyber security challenges. The contracts were awarded by the DHS S&T Cyber Security Division (CSD) under Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) 11-02 which solicited proposals in 14 technical topic areas aimed at improving security in federal networks and across the Internet while developing new and enhanced technologies for detecting, preventing and responding to cyber attacks on the nation’s critical information infrastructure. Four of these contracts include co-funding from international partners ­ two from the United Kingdom and two from Australia. Negotiations are currently underway for additional international co-funding from partner agencies in Canada, Sweden and The Netherlands.

Transportation Security Agency Purchases Personal Screening System

October 16, 2012
George I. Seffers

American Science and Engineering Incorporated, Ballerica, Mass., recently announced that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) awarded the company an Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract with a ceiling value of $245 million for its SmartCheck Personnel Screening System with next generation advanced imaging technology. The IDIQ contract also includes service, maintenance, and training for the SmartCheck systems. As part of this contract, AS&E received its first delivery order for three SmartCheck systems to be tested at TSA facilities. The system was designed to detect concealed threats such as metallic and non-metallic weapons, explosives, and other prohibited items. The SmartCheck system includes the Automated Target Recognition (ATR) capability, which reduces privacy concerns and decreases passenger processing time by displaying only a generic figure with potential threat areas highlighted. In addition, the reduced size of the SmartCheck system is suited for smaller checkpoint configurations.

Thales Awarded DHS Tactical Communications Contract

June 20, 2012
By George Seffers

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has awarded Thales Communications Incorporated, of Clarksburg, Maryland, a contract to provide public safety and tactical communications products to DHS under its new Tactical Communications (TacCom) program. Through this multiple-award, indefinite-delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) program, DHS will quickly procure vital tactical radio equipment and other products and services. The agency will use the equipment to support reliable and interoperable public safety communications for its missions to keep the homeland safe, including border protection, customs enforcement, drug interdiction, and emergency response to natural and man-made disasters.

General Dynamics to Support National Communications System

May 16, 2012
By George Seffers

General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems has been awarded a $14 million task order by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to support the National Communications System (NCS). General Dynamics will provide around-the-clock watch operations for critical communications infrastructure through support of the NCS's National Coordinating Center (NCC) for Communications. The company will provide emergency response support and liaison to communications partners to identify the possible impacts of potentially disruptive events and coordinate the restoration and repair of the infrastructure when outages occur. The NCC Watch assists NCS in executing its roles and responsibilities under Executive Order 12472 for support of the National Command Authority and for planning, developing and implementing enhancements to the national communications infrastructure. The NCC Watch facilitates collaboration among the NCC communications industry and government partners to support information sharing and collaboration, while performing analysis of the national communications infrastructure. Due to the confluence of technologies, the NCC Watch responds to cyber security incidents and events in tandem with its sister organization, the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT), under event coordination by the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC).

Mobile Biothreat Detection for First Responders

May 7, 2012
By George Seffers

BioFlow, a handheld biological threat detection system under development at The Mitre Corporation's Bio-Nano Laboratory could one day help emergency response teams identify biological threats on site, saving time, money and possibly lives. Mitre engineers have demonstrated the concept for several government sponsors, including the Defense and Homeland Security departments. BioFlow combines existing technology and sampling techniques to identify a variety of threats, including bacterial agents that cause anthrax, viruses and clinical markers such as thyroid stimulating hormone. Furthermore, it could identify targets in a range of samples, including water, soil, blood or urine. The BioFlow process relies on anti-body-coated magnetic microspheres to extract and identify specific targets, such as bacteria, hormones or viruses.

Homeland Security 2012: From Terrorism to Public Safety to Small Business, Technology Infuses Change

March 2, 2012
By Maryann Lawlor

Resilience is more important than ever in the face of changes that are occurring throughout the government and range from responding to crises to working with small businesses. But increased care in planning and a commitment to getting the job done in innovative ways meet these changes head on and not only will sustain organizations but in many cases will enable them to grow.

Social Media Involvement Evolves

March 1, 2012
By Maryann Lawlor

Government may have been in the slow lane to accept social media as a viable conduit for sharing information, but agencies are now coordinating their efforts to ensure messages going out to the public can be trusted. Members of a panel discussing its uses at the AFCEA International Homeland Security Conference said the technologies that facilitate ubiquitous communications among the public are merely another change in generations of changes.

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