Millions of U.S. Military computers will be protected from spyware using software from Computer Associates International Inc., company officials said last week.
The Defense Information Systems Agency awarded Science Applications International Corp. and CA a $6.9 million order to provide an enterprisewide Spyware Detection, Eradication and Protection product, which DISA calls SDEP. As part of the deal, CAs eTrust PestPatrol anti-spyware product will be installed on some 4 million systems owned by the Department of Defense and branches of the armed services, DISA officials said.
The deal is a major win for CA and a blow to anti-virus vendors Symantec Corp. and McAfee Inc., which already protect military systems from viruses. The anti-spyware task order is part of I-Assure, a $1.5 billion contract to provide professional IT security services to the DOD, according to a DISA statement.
SAIC, which is the primary contractor, will help the military deploy the SDEP software and provide on-site training for military staff, said Sioux Fleming, CAs eTrust director of product management, in Islandia, N.Y.
Like many other large organizations, the U.S. military is struggling with spyware, a term often used to describe both legal programs that display advertisements and track surfing behavior and those programs that log keystrokes or install Trojan horse programs.
"This isnt a problem thats specific to the military. Its a problem for everybody," she said.
Military men and women will be able to download and install the consumer version of PestPatrol, at no cost, to use on their home computers, which will help prevent infections from systems that the military doesnt own, Fleming said.
The SDEP task order put a high premium on spyware detection and removal capabilities, which may have disadvantaged companies such as McAfee and Symantec.
"Weve been talking about spyware for two and a half years," said John Pescatore, an analyst for Gartner Inc., in Stamford, Conn. "If Symantec had been building an integrated anti-spyware product from the beginning, theres no way they would have lost this contract."
The DOD is conducting a 120-day pilot deployment of PestPatrol to hammer out training and deployment issues. ´
I-Assure is a seven-year, $1.5 billion U.S. government contract that will provide information security hardware and software, services, and support to the DOD
* Managed by DISA
* Awarded to 11 main contractors, including Electronic Data Systems Corp., Computer Sciences Corp., Northrop Grumman Corp. and SAIC
* Symantec, Trend Micro Inc. and McAfee provide audiovisual scanning with prime contractor partners
* Awarded in July 2000 and runs through July 2007