- By George I. Seffers
- Oct 16, 2000
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.
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
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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.