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March 2004

Military information technology: Computer network defense in Iraq

Arabian sands had no safe haven for U.S. troops during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Dotting the barren Kuwaiti and Iraqi frontier, soldiers and airmen routinely found themselves targets of enemy rocket attacks and frontline probing actions. Seasoned combat troops might expect such dangers, but not reservists in the 335th Theater Signal Command, who built, secured and maintained the American and coalition forces' IT networks. Firewalls and IDSes kept enemy hackers off their systems, but they relied on nearby Patriot batteries to keep Saddam Hussein's Ababil-100 missiles at bay. It has been a year since U.S. troops pushed across the Kuwaiti border in their drive toward Baghdad. In the weeks leading up to the war and those tumultuous two months of heavy fighting, the network and security specialists supporting the combat divisions found that there are worse things than a bad day at the office. "Everything is relative," says Tom Lantzy, a major in the U.S. Army Reserve who recently returned to his job as an infrastructure project ...

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