- By George I. Seffers
- Sep 10, 2001
NSA: Foreign Workers Wanted?
The National Security Agency is working around the clock to detect and
react to computer network attacksan effort requiring a lot of skilled
people, said Michael Jacobs, the agency's information assurance director.
But NSA has had a hard time recruiting people with the necessary expertise,
and the problem is exacerbated by the agency's requirement that candidates
be U.S. citizens. Most computer science graduates in this country, Jacobs
said, are not U.S. citizens. Because of the agency's role in producing foreign
intelligence information, officials are wary of eliminating the U.S. citizenship
"There may come a time, though, when the available supply will become
so difficult that you're going to have to make that front-end investment
and find ways to go through a process that would get non-U.S. citizens cleared,"
Jacobs said. He added that if the agency could do as it pleased, "rather
than buying the manpower through a contractor," it would hire its own IT
workers"perhaps in the many hundreds."
Show Me the Money
The Air Force is still struggling to repair its new personnel data system
known as Military Modernization (MilMod)which went online in June after
a few delays.
Reports of serious pay problems are flying in to local units, and some
of those reports are true, according to Maj. Gen. Michael McMahan, Air Force
Personnel Center commander. "We [are] working on every leveldirectly
with the individuals, with local finance offices and with other agencies,
like the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, to get people paid, paid
right and paid on time," McMahan said in a written statement. The good news
is the cause of the problems has been identified and a fix is in the works.
Hooray for Hackers
For anyone thinking it will be a cold day in hell before Defense Department
officials applaud illegal cyberattacks, throw another log on the fire.
During a speech at the Montgomery, Ala., Air Force Information Technology
Conference, Lt. Gen. John Woodward, Air Force director of communications
and information, said that when a U.S. EP-3's emergency landing in China
last April set off a scuffle between U.S. and Chinese cybervandalswho
attacked each other's home turfthe U.S. side kicked booty.
Woodward referred to the two sides as "special interest groups" and
said that for every attack on U.S. computers, the American hackers hit at
least 10 Chinese sites. "Good ol' United Statesamazing place, isn't it?
We're a pretty good country."
The Hackers Union of America seemed to get together and decide "the
fight's on," Woodward said. "Why do you think it stopped? It stopped because
the Chinese said, 'Timeout.' That wasn't the government or the armed forces.
That was Amer.i.ca. That was awesome to me. I loved it, by the way. I absolutely
Lt. Gen. Harry Raduege, director of the Defense Information Systems
Agency, did not cheer the U.S. side but hinted he was refraining because
reporters were in the room. Raduege said the illegal cyber activity was
reported to law enforcement officials, and he did not know if the feds succeeded
in tracking down any wrongdoers. "But that's their problem," he said.
DLA, Here I Come
Larry Glasco, Naval Supply System Command exec.utive director, is trading
in that job title, which is relatively short by Defense Department standards,
for one much more difficult to remember. Glasco will depart the command
in mid-October to become executive director of readiness and customer support
for the Defense Logistics Agency and will relocate to DLA headquarters in
Fort Belvoir, Va.
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