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NASA awards $137.3 million in Space Launch System contracts

October 2, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow NASA awarded three contracts totaling $137.3 million to upgrade an advanced booster for the space launch system, a heavy-lift rocket for exploration beyond low Earth orbit, the agency announced. ATK Launch Systems will develop improvements for a solid-fueled booster. Dynetics was selected to produce and test several primary components of...

Sandia scientists build experimental Android playground with 300,000 devices

October 2, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Sandia National Laboratories is building an experimental set-up of 300,000 Android devices, offering its government-funded scientists greater visibility into how hackers disrupt smartphone networks, the labs said. This creates a realistic playground for security researchers in the same way as Megatux, a Sandia initiative started in 2009 that runs a...

Military scientists devise surveillance malware to track surroundings in 3D

October 1, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Naval Surface Warfare Center scientists have created a malicious mobile app that takes control of a phone and snaps random photos that are stitched together to reconstruct someone’s surroundings in 3D, Technology Review reports. The tool, called PlaceRaider, was created as an app for a smartphone on the Android 2.3...

Attackers used Adobe certificate to validate malware

October 1, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Attackers compromised an Adobe server and hijacked a code-signing certificate -- a mechanism that is supposed to validate that computer programs are from trusted sources -- and manipulated it to give the green light for malware to enter computer systems, the company said. When software is signed with a certificate,...

Cyber Command officer: China is targeting Pentagon

September 28, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The U.S. Cyber Command's top intelligence officer accused Chinese actors on Thursday of persistent efforts to infiltrate Pentagon computers, Reuters reports. Rear Adm. Samuel Cox, the command's director of intelligence, said that "their level of effort against the Department of Defense is constant.” He declined, however, to comment on whether...

TSA awards contract for explosives detection systems

September 27, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Defense contractor L-3 Communications has nabbed an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract to supply explosives detection technology to the Transportation Security Administration. L-3 will supply TSA with eXaminer 3DX and eXaminer 3DX-ES machine systems to screen bags in airports. More than 640 of the systems are deployed by TSA, the company said. A...

Intel agencies get help managing security vulnerabilities

September 27, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Tenable Network Security has inked a partnership with CIA venture capital wing In-Q-Tel to develop vulnerability management technology for the intelligence community. The company provides vulnerability scanning and monitoring tools to help agencies stay compliant. Its technology is being deployed by federal intelligence agencies and across the Defense Department, In-Q-Tel...

Iran highlights new evidence of sabotage in nuclear, industrial facilities

September 26, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Iran highlighted new evidence of sabotage attempts in virus-infected and booby-trapped equipment used in nuclear, defense, industrial and telecommunications infrastructure, the state-affiliated Fars News Agency reports. The announcement, headlined “Iran Displays Achievements in Defusing Sabotage Attacks on Nuclear Sites,” comes after Iranian lawmakers charged over the weekend that equipment supplied...

China will deploy drones for maritime surveillance

September 25, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow China will deploy unmanned aerial vehicles for maritime surveillance, its State Oceanic Administration announced, as reported by state-run news agency Xinhua. The agency will build up personnel to set up UAV surveillance and monitoring bases in provinces along China's coastline by 2015, according to the report. This could mark a...

Law enforcement UAV wanted in Fort Jackson, S.C.

September 24, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Army is eyeing options for an unmanned aerial vehicle for local police and law enforcement officials in Fort Jackson, S.C., to carry out search and tracking operations, contract databases reveal. “The UAV will allow police officers, military police and law enforcement personnel to conduct aerial surveillance/reconnaissance, search for missing...

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