Comsat Deal Moves Ahead<@VM>CACI Board Challenged<@VM>CA Strengthens Security Line<@VM>Ohio Eyes Global E-Commerce<@VM>New Protection for Computers<@VM>Reducing Wireless Traffic Jams<@VM>Focusing on Quality
Lockheed Martin Corp.'s year-long effort to acquire satellite communications company Comsat Corp. moved a step closer to completion following approval from two key federal agencies.
On Sept. 15, the Federal Communications Commission approved Bethesda, Md.-based Lockheed Martin's application to own up to 49 percent of Comsat. The next day the Department of Justice cleared the purchase with respect to anti-trust law.
Before the deal can be completed, however, Congress must enact legislation reforming the 1962 Communications Satellite Act, which set restrictions on ownership of Comsat's voting stock.
"While we have closed an important chapter in the merger agreement, we still must secure legislation to remove the anti-competitive ownership cap on Comsat to allow Lockheed Martin to complete the merger," said Betty Alewine, Comsat president and chief executive officer. "It is our hope to work with the House Commerce Committee to move genuinely pro-competitive reform of the Satellite Act as soon as possible."
Under the terms of the merger agreement, Lockheed Martin would acquire 49 percent of Comsat's outstanding stock for $45.50 a share in a deal totaling $1.2 billion. Upon completion of the deal, Comsat's business will be combined with Lockheed Martin Global Telecommunications, a subsidiary that provides terrestrial and satellite networks for corporate and government customers worldwide.
Comsat, which reported revenue of $616 million in 1998, has multimillion-dollar contracts with the Coast Guard, Federal Aviation Administration and the Navy.
Alan Parsow, the CACI International Inc. stockholder hoping to force a sale of the company, has put forth his slate of candidates that he hopes will take control of the Arlington, Va.-based company at its November shareholder's meeting.
In a Sept. 16 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Parsow nominated himself and seven others. CACI has 10 board members, and all but Chairman and Chief Executive John P. "Jack" London are outside directors.
Parsow's nominees are: David S. Logan, managing partner of Mercury Investments; L.E. Wilson, president of L. Edward Wilson & Associates Inc., a management advisory firm specializing in merger, acquisition and strategy planning; Sean T. Mullen, partner in Hancock & Dana P.C., an accounting firm; William H. Evers Jr., president and CEO of Systems, Technology & Science LLC, a consulting company; Lawrence I. Batt, an attorney; Louis B. Lloyd, president and CEO of Belfinance Haussman, a private investment company; and John W. Woodmansee Jr., president and CEO of Tactical & Rescue Equipment LLC.
CACI is still working on its slate of nominees, but London said he expects the same 10 directors to be nominated again. The board is considering adding an eleventh director, who likely would be a government information technology executive, but a final decision on that has not been made yet, London said.
CACI's slate should be finalized in the next three weeks. The shareholders meeting will be in November or December, London said.
Computer Associates International Inc. of Islandia, N.Y., acquired privately held Snare Networks Corp. of Silver Spring, Md.
Snare Networks develops and markets security software products and services for government and commercial clients. Terms of the Sept. 21 purchase were not disclosed.
"By adding Snare Networks' virtual private network technology to CA's eTrust portfolio of tools and solutions, our clients' e-business initiatives will be even more secure, manageable and accessible," said Kurt Ziegler, CA senior vice president, security business.
Ohio last week launched a new program aimed at ensuring that the state's public and private sectors are ready for global electronic commerce, making it the first state to measure its readiness for the Internet economy.
The ECom-Ohio project will bring together state leaders in major industries, technology, government and education to examine a host of issues, such as the adequacy of the state's network infrastructure and the growing demand for online government services.
Support for the three-year project is coming from the Ohio Department of Development, which is providing $450,000, and Ohio industry partners, who each will offer $60,000 over the three years.
ECom-Ohio will measure the state's readiness for global e-commerce using benchmarks that can be found at www.cspp.org/gecreadinessguide.
Researchers at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Dahlgren, Va., are developing new statistical techniques to help detect intrusion and defend computer networks.
Most intruder detection software works by flagging access attempts from pre-identified attack attempts, an approach that assumes some existing knowledge of the intruder's methods. The Office of Naval Research-funded researchers are working on new algorithms to flag access attempts that are not routine for a particular workstation, LAN, WAN or ISP.
Using statistical pattern analysis, the algorithms will filter out access attempts from strange places or at strange hours or any attempts asking for unusual information. The data will then be given further analysis to determine if it represents a threat or just a benign anomaly.
This work builds on the network-based intrusion detection system called SHADOW, which stands for Secondary Heuristic Analysis for Defensive Online Warfare, also developed at Dahlgren. The SHADOW system detects suspicious activities such as network scans and probes, denial of service attacks and unauthorized connection attempts.
Penn State researchers in State College, Pa., have designed a system to obtain wireless access to the information superhighway that promises to improve efficiency by reducing "traffic jams" caused by simultaneous queries.
Ali Hurson, professor of computer science and engineering, and James B. Lim proposed the new concept, called mobile data access system. It can tap diverse data sources, such as stock quote services, news, airline information, weather, the Internet or the World Wide Web, through both wired and wireless connections.
MDAS superimposes a multi-database system on a wireless environment. Multi-databases allow users integrated access to multiple databases with a single query.
For example, a query to a multi-database could not only produce a list of bed and breakfasts in State College, Pa., but also might provide their rankings in two different online travel guides, a task that requires access to at least three databases and integration of the information.
MDAS also manages the query traffic so that gridlock does not occur when more than one user wants to access the same database. The research was supported partly by grants from Lockheed Martin Corp. and the Department of Defense.
The Defense Secretary's Quality Management Office and Mt. Edgecumbe High School in Sitka, Alaska, have created a learning center to collect, distribute and develop materials for students and teachers on Quality Management.
The educational materials include problem solving tools, optimizing team performance, customer focus, lifelong learning, systems thinking, design of experiments and data-based decisions.
Located at www.management.gov/learning/, it also offers a library of articles, student and instructor guides, reports and overhead slides on quality management.