Aerojet Rocketdyne to pay $9 mln to resolve U.S. cybersecurity allegations

Aerojet Rocketdyne to pay $9 mln to resolve U.S. cybersecurity allegations


WASHINGTON, July 8 (Reuters) – Rocket engine maker Aerojet Rocketdyne (AJRD.N) has agreed to pay $ 9 million to settle allegations of distorting compliance with cybersecurity requirements in federal government contracts, it said Friday the U.S. Department of Justice.

Aerojet did not respond to requests for comment.

Aerojet provides propulsion and power systems for launch vehicles, missiles and satellites and other spacecraft at the Pentagon, NASA and other federal agencies, the Justice Department said.

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The agreement resolves a 2015 lawsuit filed by former Aerojet employee Brian Markus under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act.

Markus and Aerojet reached a settlement of the case on the second day of trial in April, the Justice Department said. It will receive $ 2.61 million as part of the deal. The agreement was approved on July 5 by a U.S. district court in California.

A Markus court statement said that between July 2013 and September 2015, Aerojet received more than $ 2.6 billion in government funds through the “fraudulent acquisition” of contracts from the Department of Defense and the National Aeronautics Administration and Space (NASA) which were “essential components of U.S. aerospace and national defense programs.” “by falsely representing that it complied with cybersecurity regulations.

After a cyberattack in 2013, Aerojet hired Markus as a senior cybersecurity official, but Markus said he did not have the budget or staff that Aerojet had promised. He also claimed that Aerojet in 2015 hid from its board that the company was not meeting cybersecurity requirements.

Aerojet said in its defense in an April court filing that it “made many detailed revelations to relevant government agencies about the status of its compliance with these cybersecurity standards in 2014, 2015 and beyond.”

Aerojet Rocketdyne did not admit any crime as part of the deal.

“Whistleblowers with inside information and technical experience can provide crucial assistance in identifying cybersecurity errors and misconduct,” said Deputy Chief Attorney General Brian Boynton.

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Report by David Shepardson and Kanishka Singh in Washington; Edited by Christian Schmollinger

Our standards: the principles of trust of Thomson Reuters.



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