Risk
9/29/2010
05:48 PM
50%
50%

Army Awards $1.2 Billion NSA Data Center Contract

The facility to be built in Utah will support the agency's Comprehensive National Security Initiative, aimed at bolstering cybersecurity across federal agencies.




Government's 10 Most Powerful Supercomputers
(click for larger image and for full photo gallery)
The Army has awarded a $1.2 billion contract to a construction consortium to build a spacious new data center in Utah for the National Security Agency's (NSA's) cybersecurity effort.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said it awarded the contract to Balfour Beatty/DPR/Big-D to erect a facility in Williams, Utah, that will be used for the NSA's Comprehensive National Security Initiative, the NSA said in an emailed statement.

The initiative is aimed at bolstering how the government protects federal computer networks from intrusion by hackers and rival nations that may want to access classified U.S. data. President George W. Bush launched the initiative in 2008 and the Obama administration has kept it in place.

Specifically, the data center will support the intelligence community's mission to provide foreign intelligence about cybersecurity threats to DoD networks, according to the NSA. It also will provide information-assurance support to those networks, which the NSA refers to as the "dot-mil" networks. The center will also provide technical assistance to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its mission of securing federal civilian networks, or the "dot-gov" networks, according to the NSA.

In its 2010 budget request, the NSA included information on its plan to build the data center. The agency said the data center will "be capable of Tier 3 reliability" with "power density…appropriate for current state-of-the- art high-performance computing devices and associated hardware architecture."

Even as the White House has put a moratorium on construction of new data centers for federal agencies and is asking them to significantly consolidate the ones they have, it is continuing to invest IT resources in priority areas like cybersecurity.

Indeed, as described by NSA Director General Keith Alexander at the Gov 2.0 Summit recently, federal networks are in need of more protection. 250,000 probes trying to find their way into Department of Defense networks every hour and cyber attacks on federal agencies have increased 150% since 2008, he said.

The new NSA data center -- located on the Camp Williams Army base in Williams, Utah -- will be built with 100,000 square feet of raised-floor data space and more than 900,000 square feet of technical support and administrative space, according to the Army. Another 500,000 square meters will go to support facilities, such as water-treatment and visitor-control centers. In total, the data center will encompass 1.5 million square meters, making it a sizeable facility.

It also apparently will be built in fairly swift fashion. The construction schedule is "aggressive," with the data center scheduled for completion 1,100 calendar days from "notice to proceed," according to the contract posted on FedBizOpps.

Specific facilities the contract calls for include basic utility infrastructure, electrical service, water, sewer and gas, as well as water-treatment facilities, a vehicle inspection facility, a visitor control center, perimeter site security measures, and fuel and water storage. The contract does not cover the development of IT networks for the facility, however.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Latest Comment: nice one
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2015-0845
Published: 2015-04-17
Format string vulnerability in Movable Type Pro, Open Source, and Advanced before 5.2.13 and Pro and Advanced 6.0.x before 6.0.8 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code via vectors related to localization of templates.

CVE-2015-0967
Published: 2015-04-17
Multiple cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities in SearchBlox before 8.2 allow remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via (1) the search field in plugin/index.html or (2) the title field in the Create Featured Result form in admin/main.jsp.

CVE-2015-0968
Published: 2015-04-17
Unrestricted file upload vulnerability in admin/uploadImage.html in SearchBlox before 8.2 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code by uploading a file with an executable extension and the image/jpeg content type, a different vulnerability than CVE-2013-3590.

CVE-2015-0969
Published: 2015-04-17
SearchBlox before 8.2 allows remote attackers to obtain sensitive information via a pretty=true action to the _cluster/health URI.

CVE-2015-0970
Published: 2015-04-17
Cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerability in SearchBlox before 8.2 allows remote attackers to hijack the authentication of arbitrary users.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Join security and risk expert John Pironti and Dark Reading Editor-in-Chief Tim Wilson for a live online discussion of the sea-changing shift in security strategy and the many ways it is affecting IT and business.