FBI in the market for bad software
- By Adam Mazmanian
- May 15, 2014
Most IT systems operators go to great lengths to avoid malware. The FBI, on the other hand, is looking to buy some.
As part of its work in providing technical analysis of malicious software and hacking methods, the FBI is looking for a commercial supplier of malware. The solicitation specifies a malware feed updated daily of 30 to 40 gigabytes a day in unique malware and variants on old attacks, retrievable through machine-to-machine communication. The feed will be pulled in by the FBI, not pushed into its systems. The FBI is authorized to spend up to $25.5 million on malware, according to contracting documents.
The malware sought by the FBI includes exploits embedded in audio and video files, executable files for Unix/Linux, Windows and Macintosh, images, web pages, spreadsheets, .pdfs, and other file types.
The FBI didn't respond to questions about the solicitation, but the bureau's mandate includes conducting technical analysis of malicious software and computer-based attacks. Presumably, the malware acquisition will support cybersecurity research.
Adam Mazmanian is executive editor of FCW.
Before joining the editing team, Mazmanian was an FCW staff writer covering Congress, government-wide technology policy, health IT and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Prior to joining FCW, Mr. Mazmanian was technology correspondent for National Journal and served in a variety of editorial roles at B2B news service SmartBrief. Mazmanian started his career as an arts reporter and critic, and has contributed reviews and articles to the Washington Post, the Washington City Paper, Newsday, Architect magazine, and other publications. He was an editorial assistant and staff writer at the now-defunct New York Press and arts editor at the About.com online network in the 1990s, and was a weekly contributor of music and film reviews to the Washington Times from 2007 to 2014.
Click here for previous articles by Mazmanian. Connect with him on Twitter at @thisismaz.