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Posts Tagged ‘DOD

DorobekInsider: BusinessWeek says DOD dealing with counterfeit computer chips

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BusinessWeek has a really excellent story, which they headline, Dangerous Fakes, about the Defense Department dealing with counterfeit computer components — and how those defective computer components from China are getting into U.S. warplanes and ships.

The American military faces a growing threat of potentially fatal equipment failure—and even foreign espionage—because of counterfeit computer components used in warplanes, ships, and communication networks. Fake microchips flow from unruly bazaars in rural China to dubious kitchen-table brokers in the U.S. and into complex weapons. Senior Pentagon officials publicly play down the danger, but government documents, as well as interviews with insiders, suggest possible connections between phony parts and breakdowns.

In November 2005, a confidential Pentagon-industry program that tracks counterfeits issued an alert that “BAE Systems experienced field failures,” meaning military equipment malfunctions, which the large defense contractor traced to fake microchips. Chips are the tiny electronic circuits found in computers and other gear.

The alert from the Government-Industry Data Exchange Program (GIDEP), reviewed by BusinessWeek, said two batches of chips “were never shipped” by their supposed manufacturer, Maxim Integrated Products in Sunnyvale, Calif. “Maxim considers these parts to be counterfeit,” the alert states. (In response to BusinessWeek’s questions, BAE said the alert had referred erroneously to field failures. The company denied there were any malfunctions.)

Continue reading the story here.

Some of these fakes are being blamed on DOD’s increasing reliance on commercial products.

The same BW team that wrote this story did a great story on the government’s cyber-security initiatives that was on the cover of BusinessWeek back in April. Both stories are well worth reading.

UPDATE: We had BusinessWeek’s Brian Grown on Federal News Radio’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris talking about the story. You can hear that interview here. [.mp3]

Written by cdorobek

October 5, 2008 at 10:43 PM

Posted in DOD, press, procurement, security

Tagged with , ,

DorobekInsider: FedTimes reports DOD comptroller leaving

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Tina Jonas

Tina Jonas

Federal Times has the news that Tina Jonas, who has served as the Defense Department’s comptroller and CFO since 2004, is leaving that post.

Tina Jonas has left her post as the Pentagon’s comptroller, where she oversaw the world’s largest military budget, to join the long list of former Defense Department officials who now help direct the U.S. defense industry.

Sikorsky spokesman Paul Jackson confirmed that Jones has accepted a position with the Connecticut-based firm, which makes military and commercial planes and helicopters and also provides spare parts and maintenance services.

Jonas has made great strides taming the messy DOD financial systems — something that has been seen as impossible before her tenure. It still isn’t fixed, but most people give her credit for making a lot of progress.

She is a political appointee, so not a huge shock that she is leaving. That being said, the fact that she is going to work for a defense contractor will raise eyebrows — or more.

Read her DOD bio after the break.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by cdorobek

October 2, 2008 at 8:32 AM

Posted in CFO, DOD, Whose In and Whose Out

Tagged with ,

DorobekInsider.com: Monday’s must-reads

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So there are 56 days until election day… 133 days until Inauguration Day… one week until Federal News Radio shifts to DC’s 1500 AM and we officially launch The Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris…

Some of today’s must reads…

* The Pentagon is trying to refocus its ability to cyber-attack as much as it cyber-defends, the LAT’s Julian E. Barnes reports this morning:

Pentagon debates development of offensive cyberspace capabilities [LAT, 09.08.2008]
The current emphasis is on intelligence gathering and defending U.S. electronic security, but some officials think the military should know how to attack other nations’ computer systems.

WASHINGTON — Igniting a provocative new debate, senior military officials are pushing the Pentagon to go on the offensive in cyberspace by developing the ability to attack other nations’ computer systems, rather than concentrating on defending America’s electronic security.

Under the most sweeping proposals, military experts would acquire the know-how to commandeer the unmanned aerial drones of adversaries, disable enemy warplanes in mid-flight and cut off electricity at precise moments to strategic locations, such as military installations, while sparing humanitarian facilities, such as hospitals.

An expansion of offensive capabilities in cyberspace would represent an important change for the military. For years, U.S. officials have been reluctant to militarize what is widely seen as a medium for commerce and communication — much like space.

But a new National Military Strategy for Cyberspace Operations, declassified earlier this year, fueled the Pentagon debate and gave the military a green light to push for expanded capabilities.

The monthslong debate took on added urgency after the electronic attacks that coincided with the Russian military’s early August push into Georgia and reflects a newfound uncertainty over the state of global cyber-warfare capabilities.

* In NYT columnist Thomas Friedman’s Sunday column, he mentions a must read: Judy Estrin’s new book, “Closing the Innovation Gap.” I mentioned last week that we are going to have Estrin on Federal News Radio’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris next Tuesday, September 16 at about 3:30p ET.

Georgia on My Mind [NYT, 09.07.2008]
Barack Obama and John McCain need to focus, not on war, but on strengthening our capacity for innovation our most important competitive advantage.

Friedman’s much anticipated new book, Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution–and How It Can Renew America, hits the bookshelfs today.

Written by cdorobek

September 8, 2008 at 9:06 AM

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