Friday, September 28, 2007

Coastie Cutters Got Leaky Networks

The Coast Guard's 5,000-ton, 400-foot National Security Cutters, a centerpiece of the troubled $25-billion Deepwater modernization program, are having serious problems with their secure networks, according to leaked documents. The networks, which must adhere to the National Security Agency's TEMPEST standard, are 70% likely to fail to meet that standard -- and on a scale of 1 to 10, the potential conquences have a severity of 8, the documents from the Coast Guard's Acquisition Directorate posit.

What does this mean, in plain English? "If NSC1 does not meet TEMPEST requirements ... by delivery, the cutter will be unable to process classified information," according to the first document. The vessels, built by Northrop Grumman with electronics provided by Lockheed Martin, will not be suitable for sensitive missions and won't be safe to connect to Navy and other military networks. In an age where connectivity means effectiveness, the cutters will be isolated.

The is a Wired website news story by David Axe and you can see the rest of it at: