San Diego An engineer at the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command on Pacific Highway has discovered that Russian hackers have penetrated a sensitive computer network at the top-secret Navy intelligence center, according to a report in last week's Sunday Times of London. The paper says Spawar engineer Ron Broersma broke the case when he noticed that a computer print job was taking longer than usual to run. "To his amazement, monitoring tools showed that the file had been removed from the printing queue and transmitted to an Internet server in Moscow before being sent back to San Diego." Broersma told a private computer seminar last month that the electronic invasion "turned out to be a real tough problem for us," according to the Times. "It is not clear precisely what information was contained in the stolen document," the paper added. "Beyond its role in naval intelligence, Spawar is also responsible for providing electronic security systems for the Marine Corps and federal agencies. It is suspected that several other intrusions had gone undetected. Oleg Kalugin, a former head of Soviet counterintelligence and now a resident of Maryland, said such facilities were prime targets for Russian intelligence." The Times also claims that the Spawar penetration is just one in a series of successful Russian cyber attacks, dubbed Moonlight Maze, against the U.S. defense establishment. Whether coincidental or not, Spawar recently lost a government competition to develop the Navy's new intranet service, a $200 million voice, video, and data network.
San Diego City Attorney Casey Gwinn, who's been bashing the grand jury's investigation into Susan Golding, the Padres' sweetheart stadium deal, and the SDG&E undergrounding controversy, has picked up a total of $1000 in campaign contributions from the family of Padres owner John Moores. Moores, along with wife Rebecca, daughter Jennifer (listed as a public-relations staffer for the Padres), and son-in-law R. Jason McCloud (a coach for the team), each gave Gwinn the maximum $250 allowed by law on June 30. Gwinn also collected $500 from downtown real estate mogul Malin Burnham, whose namesake John Burnham company is half-owned by Moores. Robert E. Hill Jr., senior vice president for real estate services at the Burnham company, gave $100. Curtis Fitzpatrick, the former deputy city attorney who now represents Moores and the Padres, gave $250. Gaslamp restaurateur and stadium-backer David Cohn, along with wife Lesley, each gave $250. The city attorney also got $100 from David Clark, director of regulatory law for Sempra, the utility giant that owns SDG&E; $100 from SDG&E lobbyist Mark Nelson; $250 from Steven Davis, SDG&E's vice-president of distribution and operations; and $250 from SDG&E president Edwin Giles. In all, Gwinn, who is up for reelection next year, reported raising $36,452.35 for his campaign committee. So far, no one has emerged to challenge him for the job.
In the Land of the Blind
Third Eye, the ad agency owned by downtown's politically well-connected Stoorza Co., has just picked up a juicy contract from the county of San Diego's Health and Human Services Agency. The assignment: create an "awareness campaign" to recruit more adoptive and foster parents. Stoorza is the outfit that handled Susan Golding's mayoral reelection campaign and the Padres' $2 million Proposition C campaign for their taxpayer-financed stadium last year. The company's Tom Shepard is expected to be a consultant to county supervisor Ron Roberts's bid to become San Diego mayor ... A $600 million power plant to be built on Otay Mesa by San Francisco utility giant Pacific Gas & Electric is said to be causing a bitter rift between San Diego city and county, which are battling for control of the tax dollars the plant will produce ... Cox Communications has convinced the Federal Communications Commission to dismiss a complaint from three San Diego county residents, charging the cable-television giant with illegally requiring subscribers to buy basic service as a condition of getting premium channels. The agency also turned down a request from the three subscribers asking it to investigate other Cox cable systems in California for illegal activity.
Contributor: Matt Potter