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Friday, February 08, 2013, 03:55 pm PT (06:55 pm ET)

Federal contractor alters 'thousands' of iPads for secure government use

CACI International Inc., a contractor that delivers various information technology services to the U.S. government, said that it has modified the hardware of thousands of iPads so that the Apple tablets can be used securely by government officials.

CACI


The security firm's chief executive officer Dan Allen told Bloomberg that the iPad modifications are an example of a push toward mobile technology, a strategy being implemented as a result of reduced revenue associated with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Unlike conventional security measures that use software to handicap or otherwise alter mobile devices, CACI's solution involves altering the iPad's hardware. According to Allen, the iPad's wireless capabilities and front and rear-facing cameras pose the greatest threat to security in top-secret installations.

“It’s a neutered iPad,” Allen said. “We’re working on how do we effectively brand it.”

The executive did not specify what techniques are being used to secure the iPad's hardware.

A number of U.S. officials are known to use Apple products, including President Barack Obama, who received a pre-release version of the iPad 2 from late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.

Allen noted that the iPads seen being used by top government officials are, “Most likely a product that either came from us or came from someone we work with.”