In a shocking illustration of the truism that more integrated databases make for larger and more lucrative honeypots/ disaster magnets, the data of approximately 26.5 million US veterans was stolen recently. A Veterans’ Affairs employee disregarded security protocols and took a laptop with sensitive data home, then the laptop was taken during a burglary at the employee’s residence. Information stolen included the veterans’ Social Security numbers, birthdates and in some cases a disability rating.
Using this information, sophisticated criminals could obtain credit reports, bank and credit card accounts and place of residence information to complete many or all of the requirements for identity theft. That in turn enables all kinds of fraud schemes that can do irreparable damage to individuals’ credit ratings and finances. Identity theft has become a serious problem in the USA, where there are far fewer limits concerning the collection, trade and custody of individuals’ personal data, and little apparent liability for its misuse.
This particular incident has been compounded by questionable official actions…
The US Coast Guard is currently operating vessels that date from the 1950s and 1960s, and a fleet-wide recapitalization is becoming an urgent priority given its new domestic security responsibilities. That effort is being handled as an integrated, multi-year $25 billion project called Deepwater that encompasses everything from long-range patrol aircraft and UAVs, to new communications and computing backbones, to new ship designs. In August 2005, “U.S. Coast Guard’s Deepwater Acquisition Plan In Deep Water?” covered the GAO’s critical scrutiny of Deepwater’s program structure. A week later, we noted Seapower Magazine’s Deepwater focus issue with a number of interesting and related articles. Integrated Coast Guard Systems (ICGS), a joint venture between Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, is serving as the program’s overall system-of-systems integrator.
After an extensive Coast Guard review of the joint venture’s performance during its first 42 months, and a positive follow-up report from the GAO in April 2006, the U.S. Coast Guard recently announced a 43-month award term extension of ICGS’ performance-based contract…
Our January 2006 coverage of the ROVER system and its impact on tactical air support mentioned a number of expected future improvements. Including full integration within the Sniper XR surveillance and targeting pods being purchased by the US Air Force and by Norway, Poland, and Singapore.
That integration is now underway. Lockheed has received a U.S. Air Force cost-plus contract worth approximately $9 million to upgrade its sniper pods with video down link capabilities to Man Pack Rover III ground-based receivers. Sniper pods are currently flying on the U.S. Air Force F-15Es and F-16s, are in developmental flight test on the A-10, and are being integrated on the B-1 bomber. They have accumulated over 20,000 flight hours in more than 3,000 sorties thus far in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Small business qualifier Information Technology Systems L.L.C. in Lulling, LA received the full delivery order amount of $10 million under its firm-fixed-price contract for supply and delivery of clay material in St. Bernard Parish, LA. Work is expected to be complete by May 14, 2007. Bids were solicited via the World Wide Web on April 29, 2006, and nine bids were received by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in New Orleans, LA (W912P8-06-D-0066).