DOD seeks security ally

The Defense Intelligence Agency is seeking assistance in tracking computer network attacks on Defense Department systems that originate from an unspecified foreign country.

DIA, a combat support agency that produces and manages foreign military intelligence, announced Aug. 23 that it intends to award a sole source contract to Veridian. Veridian will help the agency analyze incidents of network intrusions or cyberattacks on DOD networks from "computers located in a particular foreign country and other computers that show evidence of being under the control of people in that country," according to the announcement.

The contractor will be required to collect intrusion data from DOD, service-specific Computer Emergency Response Teams and information warfare centers, analyze the data and provide a list of foreign IP addresses requiring further investigation. The contractor also will need to learn who the initiating host is and determine the level of threat.

Neither Veridian nor DIA could be reached for comment by press time, but an outside security expert said the particular country could be oneof any on a long list, with China and Russia being prime candidates because of their capabilities and stated intent. Fred Cohen, founder of Fred Cohen & Associates, a strategic intelligence and security firm, also said it makes sense to focus on only one country.

"It is common to focus on one particular threat in any given analysis. If you do not, you get generic answers that mix and match these and tend to exaggerate threats," Cohensaid. "In order to get a real understanding, you need to look at one group at a time and try to assess their capabilities and intent."

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