EDS' Newstrom takes HQ post Electronic Data Systems Corp. last week confirmed that George Newstrom, president of EDS' Government Industry Group, will leave his post to run the company's global government business from its Plano, Texas, headquarters.

Newstrom will be succeeded by Bill Dvoranchik, formerly president of EDS' civilian government unit and most recently EDS' point man for the scrapped Connecticut IT outsourcing project.

An EDS spokesman said the transition would take place immediately. Feds not worried about Sept. 9 The federal government plans to do "very limited testing'' of its computer systems as a practice exercise to determine potential glitches when the date Sept. 9 arrives this week.

Jack Gribben, a spokesman for the President's Council on Year 2000 Conversion, said federal Year 2000 programmers expect little or no problem Sept. 9 and decided to conduct a routine test as a precautionary measure.

Many computer experts say Sept. 9, 1999 - written as 9/9/99 - could create computer problems similar to those that the Year 2000 date-change problem could cause. Experts said 9/9/99 could be read as "9999," the code that many computers use to stop a program.

Each federal agency will test its own systems and most likely will have complete results the next working day, if there is anything to reveal, Gribben said. "We don't think 9/9/99 will be a significant issue,'' he said.

General: NATO hacks traced to China

Hackers with Chinese Internet addresses launched coordinated cyberattacks against the United States and allied forces during the air war against Yugoslavia this spring, an Air Force official confirmed last week. Lt. Gen. William Donahue, director of communications and information for the Air Force, said that during the 78-day air war, called Operation Allied Force, hackers "came at us daily, hell-bent on taking down NATO networks."

Donahue, speaking at the annual Air Force Information Technology Conference, said the cyberattacks emanated from the Serbs, what he called "Serb sympathizers" and from "people who came at us with an [Internet Protocol] address that resolved to China." Donahue added that the U.S. military traced the attacks back to more than one Chinese IP address.

Donahue said the cyberattacks on NATO networks from Chinese Internet addresses occurred after the accidental bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade. He declined to speculate whether the attacks came from Chinese government-controlled Internet addresses. However, the Chinese government maintains tight control over Internet access.

Air Force awards IT pacts

The Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base last month awarded contracts for information technology services at five of its six directorates, totaling more than $43 million over five years.

The task orders, awarded under the General Services Administration's $25 billion ANSWER contract, replace several old IT services contracts that expired last month. They cover network, database, hardware and software management and maintenance, configuration management and systems development. Four of the awards went to DynCorp for $32 million over a minimum of four years. The fifth award went to Litton/PRC Inc. for at least $7 million over five years.

According to the Air Force, the service is receiving a 10 percent cost savings. FAA to study Tracon merger

The Federal Aviation Administration announced last week that it will prepare a study and hold a series of public meetings in October to review the impact of changes to air traffic control procedures and aircraft routings as a result of consolidating four Terminal Radar Approach Control facilities. The FAA plans to merge four Tracons located in the Washington, D.C., area into a new Potomac Tracon, which will be based in Fauquier County, Va. Tracons manage air traffic for a 50-mile radius around airports.

IRS creates new IT division

The Internal Revenue Service will open on Oct. 10 an Information Systems Division to consolidate its information technology resources.

The new division will require centralizing all of the IRS' IT

resources from the field offices, service centers and regional branches, according to an IRS spokesperson. Paul Cosgrave, the IRS' chief information officer, will lead the new division.

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