A deal between Symantec and the US Department of Defense will provide the US government with intelligence gathered from the company's DeepSight threat and vulnerability alert services.
The three-year deal will provide "actionable intelligence" about computer vulnerabilities and attack activity to the department's Computer Emergency Response Team (Cert).
That information will be used to protect IT assets in the Department of Defense. Cert is run by the Defense Information Systems Agency (Disa), a Pentagon combat support agency.
DeepSight Threat Management uses a network of more than 19,000 sensors worldwide to track evolving computer attacks, while Alert Services track software vulnerabilities in 3,200 commonly used products.
DeepSight services will provide the Pentagon with information on emerging viruses, said Brian Finan, director of strategic programs and homeland security at Symantec.
Where vulnerabilities are being exploited, the service will give the Pentagon a head start on protecting or patching vulnerable systems, he added.
Despite the fact that DeepSight is not a "military grade" intelligence service, Symantec is hoping that its relationship with the Pentagon will open the door to similar contracts. It has its sights set on the Department of Homeland Security.
Symantec declined to say how much the contract is worth.
Paul Roberts writes for IDG News Service