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Cyber terrorism: NSA awards contract to Private Citizen

A contract has been awarded for research to help counter computer-based threats to national-security networks, the chief U.S. code-cracking and eavesdropping agency said, amid mounting concern over cyber vulnerabilities.

The program, dubbed Perfect Citizen, is “purely a vulnerabilities-assessment and capabilities-development contract,” Judith Emmel, a National Security Agency spokeswoman, said in an email to Reuters.

“This is a research and engineering effort,” she said. “There is no monitoring activity involved, and no sensors are employed in this endeavor.”

The Wall Street Journal, in its Thursday editions, described Perfect Citizen as relying on sensors it said would be deployed in networks running critical infrastructure such as the electricity grid and nuclear-power plants.

Raytheon Co won a classified contract for the classified work’s initial phase valued at up to $100 million, the report cited a person familiar with the project as saying.

Joyce Kuzmin, a Raytheon spokeswoman, told Reuters in response: “We have no info on this.”

The NSA, a Defense Department arm, did not confirm or deny that the contract in question had been awarded to Waltham, Massachusetts-based Raytheon.

“This contract provides a set of technical solutions that help the National Security Agency better understand the threats to national security networks,” Emmel said.

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