FBI awards public-key contract

Northrop Grumman Information Technology won a contract to provide public-key infrastructure (PKI) security for the FBI's information systems.

The initial value of the contract is $4 million and could rise to $8 million if federal officials choose to expand the program to the entire Justice Department, Northrop said today. PKI software, used to identify users, generates two large numbers stored on a user's Web browser, or hardware such as smart card.

Northrop will provide program management, design and implementation services of the PKI for 50,000 FBI employees, the company said. The PKI system will provide identity authentication and confidentiality, and can scale to accommodate growth in the department, Northrop officials said, adding that the system will be deployed in phases.

"The government anticipates transforming the PKI smart card into an FBI common access card to provide physical and system access control," said Jim Perriello, president of government solutions for the company.

Northrop could add an additional 200,000 certificates as the program expands to other Justice entities. The company will deploy commercial off-the-shelf software, and expects to complete the first phase in December, officials said. The system will be deployed at FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C., and at one field office in Oklahoma City.

Subcontractors include Fairfax, Va.-based PEC Solutions Inc., Addison, Tex.-based Entrust Inc. and New York-based Schlumberger Ltd.

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