Breaking News - Hacker hits AF systems

An unidentified hacker late last month broke into computers at Eglin Air Force Base,
Fla., marking the first time that the base’s computer security has been breached,
officials said.


The hacker got into the Eglin systems through a Silicon Graphics Inc. workstation owned
and operated by an undisclosed vendor doing work at the base. Soon after the breach,
Eglin’s network administrators detected the intrusion and shut the workstation down,
cutting off the hacker’s access.


Eglin is home to the Air Force Development Test Center, which tests and evaluates
nonnuclear munitions, electronic combat, and navigation and guidance systems.


“There was no classified information disclosed and no malicious activity once the
hacker logged on to the system,” said 2nd Lt. Chris Larkin, a spokesman for the test
center. The Air Force Office of Special Investigations is looking into the incident.


The Treasury Department is testing the Secure Electronic Transaction 2.0 protocol for
Web sales.


Treasury’s Bureau of Engraving and Printing and its Financial Management Service
are using smart cards issued by MasterCard International Inc. of Purchase, N.Y., and
elliptic-curve cryptography from Certicom Corp. of Mississauga, Ontario, in a three-month
electronic commerce trial that started this month.


The Bureau of Engraving and Printing currently requires buyers of collectible currency
and engravings to download printable order forms from a catalog at http://moneyfactory.com. Pilot participants instead
will use smart cards and PC readers to authenticate and digitally sign off on their orders
online.


The pilot also involves hardware encryption devices from Rainbow Technologies Inc. of
Irvine, Calif., that secure keys at the merchant server as part of FMS’ effort to
automate the government’s collections and payments.


The Defense Department has certified Messageware MTA for Microsoft Exchange 4.0 for use
with the Defense Message System.


The message transfer agent, from Nexor of Nottingham, England, is a dual X.400 and
Simple Mail Transfer Protocol switch for moving messages between Exchange and disparate
mail systems.


The Defense Information Systems Agency’s Joint Interoperability Test Command at
Fort Huachuca, Ariz., tested Messageware MTA. The MTA is a Track II DMS product, which
means it was not part of the original suite of products assembled for DMS by prime
contractor Lockheed Martin Corp.


DMS eventually is supposed to carry classified as well as nonclassified traffic
worldwide, replacing AUTODIN.


The Postal Service has awarded Lockheed Martin Corp. a $168 million contract to upgrade
high-speed mail-sorting machines.


“The second phase of the Handwritten Improvement Program will further reduce costs
and processing time for mail that in the past could only be processed manually,” said
William Dowling, USPS vice president for engineering.


The upgrade will double the number of handwritten addresses that are electronically
read, Dowling said.


Although postal systems easily read typed and computer-generated addresses at a rate of
12 envelopes per second, recognizing handwriting styles was once considered an impossible
task for computers, Dowling said.


Lockheed Martin won the first HIP contract in 1996. That phase of the contract, which
began in July, includes incentives for decreasing error rates and increasing speed by more
than 50 percent, Dowling said.


The Army next week will hold a technology game to determine what the service ought to
look like in the 21st century.


The service is holding the Technology Seminar Game conference July 27 through July 31
at the Army’s War College at Carlisle Barracks, Pa. Paul Hoeper, the assistant
secretary of the Army for research, development and acquisition, and Lt. Gen. Paul Kern,
head of the Army Acquisition Corps, are sponsoring the game.


The Army will brainstorm on what information technology the service will need to equip
soldiers in the future. The service will use the proposals for its Army After Next
program.


The program predicts service needs for beyond 2025, by which time it expects to field a
force capable of conducting simultaneous, continuous and seamless military operations.


A senior review panel, including Gen. William Hartzog, commander of the Army’s
Training and Doctrine Command, will present its findings at the end of the game.


The service will follow up on new technologies suggested during the conference.


An incremental upgrade to Dr. Solomon’s netOctopus auditing package for PC and
Apple Macintosh networks will have a historical analysis tool for centrally managing
system assets.


NetOctopus 2.1 will track use of and changes to software, hardware and peripherals. It
also will distribute or update software on networked machines. Automatic installation
scripts will be included for Microsoft Office, FileMaker Pro from FileMaker Inc. of Santa
Clara, Calif., and Virex from Dr. Solomon’s Software Inc. of Burlington, Mass.


Available next month, netOctopus’ price will start at $650 for a 10-user license;
current users receive the upgrade free. More information appears on the Web at http://www.drsolomon.com.


Contact Dr. Solomon’s Software at 781-273-7411.


The Postal Service is beta-testing the WebIntelligence 2.0 online analytical processing
and reporting tool that Business Objects Inc. will release this fall.


Officials of the San Jose, Calif., company said the beta release has new extranet
functions for large organizations, such as USPS, and their business partners. The extranet
functions include security profiles and digitally signed Java applets using digital
certificate technology from VeriSign Inc. of Mountain View, Calif.


The object-oriented OLAP tool also supports auditing and various firewall
configurations. Business Objects developed the WebIntelligence 2.0 interface in Java and
Hypertext Markup Language to eliminate client software installation and maintenance.


Business Objects announced in March that it would write to Microsoft Corp.’s
forthcoming OLAP application programming interface for Microsoft SQL Server 7.0, now in
beta form.


Contact Business Objects at 408-953-6000.


A new page on the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s Web site posts
information about its Swine Futures Project at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/vs/sfp.


The department began the project to protect and improve the health of the nation’s
swine herd, support production of high-quality pork and promote access to international
markets, said Joan M. Arnodi, deputy administrator for veterinary services.


The site has point-and-click surveys on many topics. “Any organization or
individual that works in the pork industry and is interested in swine health is invited to
share opinions with the project regarding future quality assurance, on-farm certification
and monitoring, and surveillance priorities,” Arnodi said.


—Gregory Slabodkin, William Jackson Frank Tiboni, Susan M. Menke, and Florence
Olsen.


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