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United States Security The Internet

Raytheon Wins US Civilian Cyber Contract Worth $1 Billion 62

Tokolosh writes: Raytheon is a company well-known in military-industrial and political circles, but not so much for software, networking and cybersecurity. That has not stopped the DHS awarding it a $1 billion, five year contract to help more than 100 civilian agencies manage their computer security. Raytheon said DHS selected it to be the prime contractor and systems integrator for the agency's Network Security Deployment (NSD) division, and its National Cybersecurity Protection System (NCPS). The contract runs for five years, but some orders could be extended for up to an additional 24 months, it said. Dave Wajsgras, president of Raytheon Intelligence, Information and Services, said the company had invested over $3.5 billion in recent years to expand its cybersecurity capabilities. He said cybersecurity incidents had increased an average of 66 percent a year worldwide between 2009 and 2014. As you might expect, Raytheon spends heavily on political contributions and lobbying.
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Raytheon Wins US Civilian Cyber Contract Worth $1 Billion

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  • by serviscope_minor ( 664417 ) on Tuesday September 29, 2015 @07:32AM (#50618737) Journal

    This is good news. Sure the $1bn is going down the drain, but at least it's not going to improve the DHS's effectiveness. That's not as good as abolishing the DHS, but it's a start.

    So think of it as $1bn well spent...

    • Better than selecting Oracle or Microsoft, each of which would have securely used the information for their own purposes. MS would use it to target suggested apps. Oracle would make sure it didn't work quite right, until you give them another billion dollars.
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      They are likely providing expertise about the process of security, rather than security software. They might actually be competent at that. Might.

      • This is the same Raytheon that managed to spam-block their own SMTP traffic (I worked with them on a project about 10 years ago), and was generally so rotten at the job that the DoD kicked them clean off of the EMALL project.

        Things may have changed in the ensuing 10 years, but I wouldn't be so quick to use "competent" in any sentence that refers to Raytheon...

      • by zlives ( 2009072 )

        they just bought websense... i think that's part of the parcel.

    • You're looking at it the wrong way. This doesn't hurt or hinder DHS in the slightest - in fact, DHS would shrivel up and choke without contractors. They're an essential part of its workforce, and they always have been since day 1.

      No, this is just DHS being used as a giant cash cow by the national security contracting industry. See that reference to lobbying by Raytheon et al? It's not just lobbying to try and get contracts, it's also lobbying to have those contracts, and the agencies issuing them, to exis
    • Yes it will. Data from all these private companies will be shared with DHS. Just think of all the terrorists they will catch because of this bold new program!

    • FAA and FBI is what I seem to remember... things that drag on for years and years and years and the agencies are still running a lot of the creaky old software they were trying to modernize.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    This sounds like a lot, but it really is a relative pittance to what these types of government contractors were getting 10-20 years ago. I live in the D.C. area and the big defense IT contractors have been laying off staff like crazy. It used to be if you had clearance you could write your own ticket.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Retiring bureaucrats and old generals couldn't go suck the government teet for more money from a small security firm...it just looks better if they go and work for Raytheon, so, Raytheon may not have the name in security...but, it does have the niche for hiring old bureaucrats and ex-military!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    If their cybersecurity system is as good as the other software they produce, we don't have to worry about the cybersecurity getting any better :) It'll be both old fashioned, unusable and inefficient...

  • PHB Site (Score:5, Informative)

    by avandesande ( 143899 ) on Tuesday September 29, 2015 @07:41AM (#50618763) Journal

    If your curious

    http://www.raytheoncyber.com/ [raytheoncyber.com]

    • by Anonymous Coward
      If my curious what?
  • Really? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Why don't we just streamline things and stop sending our tax money to the government and start sending it to all these military defense businesses? Surely this money could be better spent by agencies staffing their own employees. One billion dollars could hire a lot of people, but instead majority of that will go into the pockets of big business moguls at the taxpayers expense.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 29, 2015 @07:52AM (#50618809)

    I don't really agree with the summary. I've always associated Raytheon with software. I'm a meteorologist. The US National Weather Service uses a software suite called AWIPS for many of their operations. AWIPS is created and maintained by Raytheon. I've always thought that, because my tax dollars pay Raytheon to do this, the software should be open source and publicly available. Sadly, that's not the case, and it's virtually impossible to learn to use the same software in many NWS offices without actually working for the NWS. Thankfully, AWIPS will be replaced by the (partly) open source AWIPS II. But I've always thought this contract with Raytheon was pretty shady and bad for taxpayers. As for why Raytheon got the contract rather than the NWS using GEMPAK (the standard for some of their national offices), it may well be the explanation given in the summary that lobbying won out.

    • I was told that apparently at one time, if the taxpayers paid for it, the taxpayers owned it (subject to military restrictions). And that Prime Computer was founded on exploiting that fact - taking some NASA software, designing hardware to run it more optimally, and making a product line out of it.

      Likewise the RBase DBMS, which was supposedly developed by Boeing under government contract.

      True or not, those were products that date from before the days when certain political powers pushed to privatize everyth

      • by Anonymous Coward

        That "taxes paid for it, taxpayers own it" has never really applied to anything. Sure, the "taxpayers" own it in the sense that it's a national asset owned by all citizens collectively, but not in the "you can get a free copy" sense.

        In any case, there's no "ownership" to speak of here: as soon as the computer folks started "leasing" computers and software, (e.g. IBM) you were paying only for the "right to use" (i.e. a license). Just as you don't get unlimited rights and source code when you fork out a few

    • by asavage ( 548758 )
      This is also news to me. I had a work term in university writing test scenarios to verify features of their military air traffic control software.
    • by hotchai ( 72816 )
      More importantly, to speak of Raytheon's networking and security capabilities, they acquired BBN [wikipedia.org] a few years ago.
  • by phayes ( 202222 ) on Tuesday September 29, 2015 @07:55AM (#50618823) Homepage

    Anyone claiming that because Raytheon isn't a well known name in software, networking, cyber security that this contract was awarded for cronyism, lobbying etc, has clearly never managed a large governmental project like this one is and knows nothing of how these projects are awarded. These projects are not looking for the prime contractor to be technically proficient in any of these technical fields but to have the best project management skills & to farm the technical parts out to subcontractors/suppliers.

    That /. admins have promoted such a basic misunderstanding of what the issues are speaks to how far /. has fallen.

    • You should append 'in a government environment' to everything... it's like nothing in the private space. A good company with no government experience would fail miserably, even if they understood how to write a proper proposal.

      • Military-Industrial Complex.

        • In that same Farewell Address where Eisenhower warned about the rise of the military-industrial complex, he also warned of the rise of a scientific-technological elite.

          Naturally, the guys in the lab brush that part off.

          • From what I've seen, the bulk of the "scientific-technological elite" are working 80-100 hour weeks in fear of losing their soon-to-be-offshored jobs and have no time to meddle with the running of the country.

            Unless you want to count people like Mark Zuckerberg as "technological elite".

            • The scientific-technological elite, as opposed to the scientific-technological masses, are hanging out in their labs and offices. They have tenure at elite academies, in research facilities, and at corporations.

              The people working 80-100 hours in fear are the masses. Same as always.

        • by phayes ( 202222 )

          Boogeyman, BOO!

          There are valid reasons for an entity with lots of experience working for the government to win contracts like this. "Bob's corner firewall shop, viruses killed ded" isn't going to win any 1B multi department government contracts & would fail miserably if they tried.

          • There are valid reasons for an entity with lots of experience working for the government to win contracts like this. "Bob's corner firewall shop, viruses killed ded" isn't going to win any 1B multi department government contracts & would fail miserably if they tried.

            And this is a good thing?

            • by phayes ( 202222 )

              You've never seen multi-million dollar projects face-plant because the project management was deficient. I've seen a few.

              This story is much akin to the whipped up outrage on AF toilet seats that cost thousands, Macdonalds coffee lawsuit, Monsanto GMO lawsuit, etc. Someone with an axe to grind cherry picks a few details, whips up indignation with an inflammatory & extremely one sided resume, submits it to facebook, reddit & unfortunately more & more often /. and awaits trumped up steam from those

              • Settle down and let the drugs wear off. You're dripping foam on the carpet.

                If there's any "whipped-up" indignation I have, it's because the whole Federal process is so infamously turgid that it doesn't support democratic participation and shoulders aside the Main Street businessman in favor of specialized Big Businesses. Basically, if you want to deal with Uncle Sam, you have to dedicate a significant amount of resources specifically to dealing with Uncle Sam. Not to mention a fair amount of expertise in Fe

                • by phayes ( 202222 )

                  Somebody called "Rabidreindeer" cannot see why project management is more important than technical chops for a large government contract. Then accuses me of being rabid when I point out how this story is clearly click bait...

                  That many IT projects of all sizes fail is no surprise, but do try to get over your indignation when hearing that a big multi-department contract clearly setting out to standardize and upgrade government IT security needs project management of a type you are unfamiliar with. You just lo

  • Just so I can say "I told you so." Just from the summary, $1 billion really isn't enough for the scope of work that has to be involved. I suspect they'll burn through that in the first year and come back looking for more. I also wouldn't be holding my breath for anything useful to ever actually get done. Although, as bad as civilian agencies are at security, they might actually accidentally improve the security at a few of them.
  • As you might expect, Raytheon spends heavily on political contributions and lobbying.

    This is why we must elect a young, smart, well-educated politician with multi-cultural background and compelling life-story to Presidency. Someone, who knows, how to use a computer himself. Who is not beholden to KKKorporate interests. Someone loved and respected overseas. Someone, who cares... Someone, who thrills men [huffingtonpost.com] and whom women can imagine finding in their showers and be excited [nytimes.com], rather than frightened. Someone, who i [dailykos.com]

  • Raytheon also employs over 60,000 people in high tech, high paying positions.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    "Raytheon is a company well-known in military-industrial and political circles, but not so much for software, networking and cybersecurity"

    Horse crap, Raytheon was at the leading edge of cyberspace decades before anyone else ever heard of it.

  • I don't get the summary. Large government contractors like this just sub out and/or hire who they need to. It has nothing to do with cronyism. Granted, we could discuss why the same handful of companies get all government contracts...but that is a separate issue.

  • Based on the posts, I think people don't realize that Raytheon owns computer security firm Websense through a joint venture, a deal where Raytheon merged their own $400M valuation commercial cybersecurity business into the Websense to create a half a billion dollar commercial cyber business. That doesn't even cover their existing government networks, communications and cyber business which is a very different animal altogether. Therefore, the statements that the firm somehow doesn't have any software and c
    • by zlives ( 2009072 )

      yup Raytheon went out and bought the tools recently, the shuffle at websense is still causing issues which hopefully they will figure out SOON!!.
      as always it depends on who is managing the deployment and their expertise level. the tools themselves are pretty good.

  • Raytheon has been doing defense & intelligence community security software for as long as I can remember....

    Here [wired.com] is a good example of some of their work, which was quite a few years ahead of commercial sector equivalent work in tools like Niksun or Netwitness

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