Defense wants tool for fast access to enemy data systems

Defense wants tool for fast access to enemy data systems

The Defense Department has awarded a research contract for a ruggedized portable system that warfighters would use to extract data from enemy forces' captured computers.

Ideal Technology Corp. on Friday received a DOD Small Business Innovation Research six-month contract to begin work on the portable tool. The first phase is worth $65,000. If Defense awards the company a second-phase contract, the value of the deal could grow to $750,000.

Officials of the Orlando, Fla., company said they will work with the Army's Communications-Electronics Command in Fort Monmouth, N.J., on the Forward-Area Portable Forensics System, which will run Linux and other open-source software.

Defense wants a system that will let U.S. forces assess whether a captured computer contains information critical to battle operations. When warfighters seize an enemy computer now, they must send it to a remote computer forensics lab for data analysis. DOD officials said the data is often not useful for commanders on the battlefield because remote analyses can take days, even weeks.

With the planned system, users would search the data on the spot, Ideal officials said in a statement.

Through its Small Business Innovation Research Program, DOD provides early-stage R&D funding directly to small technology companies and individual entrepreneurs.

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