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Laptop built to protect classified docs

by Matt Cox on October 12, 2012

General Dynamics C4 Systems recently unveiled a new laptop that’s supposed to keep classified information safer when you’re at home or on travel.

GD officials maintain that the new TACLANE MultiBook laptop is certified by the National Security Agency to secure network communications to the secret level, allowing secret-squirrel government types to operate on unclassified and classified networks simultaneously.

“For the first time, these specialized workers can merge real life with work life using the TACLANE-MultiBook,” said Chris Marzilli, president of General Dynamics C4 Systems, in a recent press release.  “To get the same level of information security that the new computer provides, users would need three or more information security devices, at twice the cost of the TACLANE-Multibook, and still not have the MultiBook’s mobility.”

TACLANE Data-in-Transit encryption protects information being sent to and from classified networks, and the ProtecD@R® Data-at-Rest encryption protects data stored on the computer from loss or theft, GD officials maintain.

MultiBook starts at $5,790 and is available on GSA.

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Musson October 12, 2012 at 1:01 pm

Great. All the spooks will be chill-axing on the patio at Starbucks – directing the overthrow of some Middle East Sheikdom on the WiFi.

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blight_ October 12, 2012 at 2:36 pm
brok3n October 12, 2012 at 9:33 pm

Until the Chinese get a hold of one or steal its specs off of some 'secure' General Dynamics server. The only safe way to keep info these days is off computers.

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Howe October 14, 2012 at 5:58 am

That's impossible, everything it designed today with computers having a very large role. However, these top secret kind of things shouldn't be in any way, connected to a the internet. If its low level type classified stuff, then maybe it would be ok to make it be able to be seen on their local intranet, but still, not the internet. A simple user name and password is not good enough. The Chinese are to smart for that.

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mike e October 15, 2012 at 11:40 am

One of the basic rules of computer security is to assume the attacker has access to the specs; anything else is (so-called) 'security by obscurity'. They will have planned for that.

That said, nothing's perfect…

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The_Hand October 15, 2012 at 10:43 pm

Before everyone freaks out, note that this device is only approved for use at Secret and below, and that it's meant for use in barracks and in the field. I'm sure some bright junior officer will use one at Starbucks anyway, but the TVE architecture is pretty mature at this point. On-disk encryption should prevent data theft in the event of physical theft (depending on the encryption), and data in transit will be protected with strong IPSec.

Balancing information security with information availability is difficult in our line of work, but this is one of those tools that makes it at least possible. You can't air gap everything and expect to function effectively here in 2012.

Now if only the contractors would eat their own dog food and implement their own security solutions in house…

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TrustButVerify October 16, 2012 at 10:04 am

Well said. Strictly speaking I suppose you could use the TACLANE functionality wherever fresh internets are available, not that it would meet all the other requirements for secure computing.

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Andrew October 12, 2012 at 9:54 pm

Why does this have to read like a chesy sales pitch? Is some three star walking down the aisle at GD with a shopping cart?

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tmb2 October 13, 2012 at 1:58 am

The only thing the article is missing is "Buy yours today!"

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USA October 13, 2012 at 2:25 am

im glad they cam out with some TEC like this. we eallly need to keep our information classfied now that the communist chinese are all in our computers triying to get our TEC. im glad to see the DOD doing something about cyber security now.

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Non - Amous October 13, 2012 at 6:21 am

Here! Here's a band-aid! Look the other way!

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mpower6428 October 13, 2012 at 6:18 pm

wonderfull, our very own "enigma" machine.

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Bill October 13, 2012 at 6:57 pm

If any part of this laptop's OS was done by Microsoft it will have an endless amount of holes and bugs that any teenage kid can exploit.

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Vaporhead October 16, 2012 at 9:19 am

Looks like some Microsoft sheeple don't like your comment.

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bmart. October 18, 2012 at 3:51 am

Because General Dynamics never would have spent enough time & money to fix the bugs you encounter on your personal laptop in everyday life.

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ChrisM October 13, 2012 at 8:38 pm

So this will be accompanied by T-SCIF forms for all the best westerns thru holiday inns?

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Musson October 15, 2012 at 9:45 am

Have they released a secure vesion of the President Obama's Blackberry? I gues that may be next in line.

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Noth October 15, 2012 at 5:09 pm

I wonder if they managed to source all the parts from fabs in America or just not fabs in China…

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Helepythia October 16, 2012 at 2:08 am

Hell, if the parts were made in China, you might as well give all your secrets away at the embassy…

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ROGER October 16, 2012 at 6:28 am

No need to elaborate on this lack of responsibility.

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