Pentagon seeks spyware fighter

Officials at U.S. Strategic Command (Stratcom), which performs computer network defense and attack, announced today that they want to buy a spyware protection system for the military and the Coast Guard.

Stratcom officials want to purchase a capability that detects, protects and eradicates spyware. They plan to release the procurement’s request for proposals the week of March 21, according to an announcement posted today on the Federal Business Opportunities’ Web site.

Officials at the Defense Information Systems Agency will oversee the competition using the agency’s Information Assurance (IAssure) contract. Eleven companies serve as prime contractors on DISA’s IAssure contract so companies that want to vie for the deal must talk to one of the prime contractors, according to the announcement.

Spyware represents technology that helps gather data about people or organizations without their knowledge. Also called spybot and tracking software, it is often installed on a computer when users download files or visit a Web site, according to Whatis.com.

The procurement signals that Defense Department officials have decided on an enterprise spyware buy for the military. Officials at Intrusion announced in January that Army officials at Fort Hood, Texas, chose the company’s SecureNet and SpySnare products to better protect computer systems at the service’s largest base in the world.

Army officials hope the $800,000 deal detects and blocks hackings, spyware infections and unauthorized peer-to-peer communications. A story published last year by the service’s Network Enterprise Technology Command cites the downloading of music and peer-to-peer applications by soldiers on Army computers as serious threats to network security.

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