NMCI Party Crashers

Strategically placed Interceptor listening devices are picking up strong

denials about an enthusiastic post-NMCI award revelry. It is not true, according

to Electronic Data Systems Corp. officials, that company president Dick

Brown is shopping for a fully loaded Porsche after having won a friendly

wager. Nor is it true, company officials said, that employees at the Herndon,

Va., office headed to Landsdowne Resort in Leesburg, Va., to celebrate,

only to find that Computer Sciences Corp. officials — apparently feeling

confident they would win — had already reserved the resort. Company officials

admit the victory party was a hearty one, and there was a nasty little incident

involving an eagle, but even the intrepid Interceptor won't go there.

Money-Grubbing Cousins

Speaking of NMCI, the Interceptor's phones, e-mail, fax machines and

global receiving stations are being inundated with notices from contractors

big and small — mostly small — that they, too, are a part of the winning

team. Like previously unknown relatives dropping in on a lottery-winning

cousin, any business conducting business with NMCI winner EDS is vying for

credit, free press and some cash. Whether they installed the phone lines

at EDS offices, cooked the food for the victory party or spread mulch around

the trees on the EDS lawn, contractors of all sorts are clearly planning

to feast on the crumbs of the NMCI pie. The EDS press release announcing

the victory includes Raytheon Co., WorldCom and WAM!NET as primary partners

on the NMCI team, dubbed the Information Strike Force. Nobody else gets

any credit or money worth mentioning. After all, $6.9 billion only goes

so far.

Go to War, Get CALM

How do you know when the U.S. military is preparing for deployment to

one of the world's hot spots? If you're one of the lucky few at the Air

Force's Standard Systems Group, you monitor the number of times software

known as the Computer- Aided Load Manifest (CALM) system is downloaded from

the Internet.

CALM is an automated system for developing load plans for U.S. military

aircraft, making deployments faster, easier and safer. The software has

been around for years but is continually upgraded to make it easier to use

and to include a wider variety of aircraft.

The folks working with the software say it suddenly becomes popular

each time U.S. military units get set for deployment and that monitoring

the downloads is a fairly effective method of determining when "things are

getting hot" somewhere in the world. So much for those pizza counters outside

the Pentagon.

TeleWall Tell-All

Although U.S. Space Command officials don't yet wish to discuss it,

the Interceptor's invisible spy plane circling command headquarters in Colorado

is picking up indications that Spacecom officials are considering installing

TeleWall, a firewall for phone and fax machines, on all Spacecom installations.

TeleWall recently was installed in three Spacecom locations as part of the

Air Force Information Warfare Battlelab's evaluation of the product, and

it far exceeded expectations.

"I told them they would be surprised by what they found, and they were,"

said Michael Jackowski, technical director for the battlelab.

Part of the surprise was in how much daily communication traffic is

conducted with bandwidth- hogging and less-secure computer systems rather

than with outdated and no-longer-cool telephones, leading Spacecom to also

consider changing its operational security policy. Message to Spacecom employees:

When you need to tell, telephone.

Intercept something? Send it to [email protected]


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