Recent reports indicate that Russian computer programmers were hired to help write computer software for critical military communications for the United States.
The Russians proceeded to write the systems so that they could infect the communication systems of the Pentagon with viruses.
The Pentagon started their investigation into the matter in 2011, and it just ended earlier this week. The individual who identified the role of the Russians has been identified as John C. Kingsley.
According to Kingsley, the Russian programmers offered to work at one-third of the rate of American programmers. Kingsley made the discovery after he was hired to run one of the Pentagon’s firms in 2010.
In a legal complaint that was filed in 2011 Kingsley said, “On at least one occasion, numerous viruses were loaded onto the DISA (Defense Information Systems Agency) network as a result of code written by the Russian programmers and installed on servers in the DISA secure system.”
Meanwhile, DISA spokesperson Alana Johnson had declined to comment on the matter, saying that it would be a violation of national security.
Kingsley stated that the Russians were conducting computer programming for a company called NetCracker under a federal contract.
According to one DISA official, the practice of outsourcing work to employees in Russia is a violation of both DISA policies and federal regulations.
Earlier this week, Netcracker and its subcontractor Computer Sciences Corporation were mandated to pay a combined $12.75 million in civil penalties as a result of the investigation. Both of these companies denied Kingsley’s accusations in court.
The original contract for the Computer Sciences Corporation and NetCracker dates back to 2008. The CSC was asked by the Pentagon to fortify and administer the computer networks of DISA. The contract was worth $22 million.
DISA is known for supporting battlefield operations by creating communication systems that allow military personnel to covertly communicate.
Reports indicate that CSC hired NetCracker to do some of the work. Kingsley said in his complaint that the CSC knew that NetCracker hired Russians to get involved as well.
However, CSC officials have denied this claim, saying that they were a victim of NetCracker’s misbehavior.
The Justice Department might still pursue criminal charges against officials of NetCracker and the CSC.
It just goes to show that the Pentagon cannot even keep tabs on who exactly is doing its work. This shameful lack of security makes one question the practices of the United State military.