State buying cyberalert service

The State Department is buying an online service to provide its workers with daily news and bulletins related to Internet threats and security.

State intends to buy iAlert cybersecurity service on a sole-source basis from iDefense Inc. of Fairfax, Va., according to an announcement published on BidRadar, a Web service that alerts businesses to government contract purchases and requests for proposals.

A contract amount was not included in the announcement, and State offered no comment. A company spokesman said iDefense has yet to conclude a deal and so declined to talk about it.

But company spokesman Jerry Irvine did describe what iAlert provides:

From their desktops, customers log on to a secure Web site where they find up-to-date reports on viruses, hacker tools or activities—"anything that would potentially emanate from an online or cyber or electronic threat, or present a vulnerability to an organization," Irvine said.

Bulletins on cyberthreats, for example, would be followed up by in-depth analysis of the activity, including methods and location, he said.

According to the announcement, State will be able to subscribe to the service for a year.

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