HERNDON, Va., Aug. 13, 2001 (PRIMEZONE) -- Logicon Inc., a Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC) company, has been chosen to develop a Network Early Warning System (NEWS) prototype capable of providing advance warning of impending Internet-based coordinated attacks on Department of Defense computer networks.

The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), Rome, N.Y., selected Logicon to help protect military computers from organized information warfare assaults designed to disrupt their usage. In recent months, the Pentagon has reported numerous such attacks on its computer systems.

"As reports of computer intrusions fill the news, the case for this work is compelling," said Paul Zavidniak, program manager for Logicon's information warfare, intrusion detection and forecasting research and development activities. "This program represents the means to advance the current protect-detect-respond network defense strategy to a survivable strategy facilitated by anticipating adversary attacks, assessing intrusions and adapting defenses to counter the attack."

This program develops capabilities successfully demonstrated in an earlier program at the U.S. Air Force Information Warfare Battlelab into a prototype system.

"We feel this effort will enhance the advantage of the proactive versus reactive approach to network monitoring," said Peter Radesi, program manager, AFRL Defensive Information Warfare Branch (IFGB). "The inherent advantages of NEWS are that it increases situational awareness and is extensible across mission areas."

NEWS employs artificial intelligence to apply automation to the indications and warning discipline, an area which has been manpower intensive and rules-based to date. NEWS replaces the current process of manually reviewing intrusion detections reports and event logs with a real-time/near real-time process.

"Through NEWS, the AFRL's IF Branch advances technology beyond intrusion detection to embrace intrusion forecasting," said Zavidniak. "Attack forecasting represents the key element in ensuring the survivability of network communications networks as it provides the early warning necessary to cue adaptive response mechanisms."

AFRL/IFGB provides research and development in the areas of computer and network risk assessment and management, security services for assurance, vulnerability analysis, detection of intrusions and misuse, and assessment of information damage; and recovery of data and systems to operational levels. AFRL/IFGB supports the full spectrum of Air Force information operations.

NEWS will integrate the latest intrusion detection tools with selected, robust 'soft computing' technologies such as neural networks and fuzzy logic. With the growing volume of network intrusions, IT staffs are often too overloaded with incidents to keep prepared. Soft computing technologies enable NEWS to automatically reduce analysts' workload and warn them about upcoming threats.

NEWS is a two-year contract valued at $1.2 million, if all options are exercised. This award, coupled with an award last month from the United Kingdom's Ministry of Defence to the Defence Evaluation Research Agency/Logicon team for Intrusion Detection Methodologies establishes Logicon as a leader in computer network attack indications and warnings systems. Work on the NEWS program will be performed in San Diego, Calif., and Bethpage, N.Y.

Logicon Inc., a subsidiary of Northrop Grumman Corporation, is a premier provider of advanced information technology solutions, engineering and business services for government and commercial clients. Headquartered in Herndon, Logicon's expertise spans such areas as information systems integration; command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR); enterprise hardware and software solutions; training and simulation; base and range support; signals intelligence; space systems; health informatics; and specialized scientific, engineering and technical services.

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