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Federal program offers protection from hackers

WASHINGTON – Businesses facing a growing threat of cyberattacks against their websites will now have more tools to protect themselves and harden their Internet sites against hackers.

A new Homeland Security Department program will help small companies and nonprofit groups avoid programming problems that allow hackers to get into their websites.

The government’s latest cybersecurity effort comes on the heels of a series of high-profile hacking attacks against corporate and federal websites, including one that shut down the CIA’s site for several hours last week.

The new program was developed with the Mitre Corp. and is an effort to shore up known weaknesses in programming that give hackers a backdoor into websites. The effort began well before the recent website attacks.

Associated Press

Hijab wearer sues Abercrombie & Fitch

SAN FRANCISCO – A former stockroom worker for Abercrombie & Fitch Co. sued the clothing retailer in federal court Monday, saying she was illegally fired after refusing to remove her Muslim headscarf while on the job.

Hani Khan said a manager at the company’s Hollister Co. store at the Hillsdale Mall in San Mateo hired her while she was wearing her hijab. The manager said it was OK to wear it as long as it was in company colors, Khan said.

Four months later, the 20-year-old says a district manager and human resources manager asked if she could remove the hijab while working, and she was suspended and then fired for refusing to do so.

It’s the latest employment discrimination charge against the company’s so-called “look policy,” which critics say means images of mostly white, young, athletic-looking people.

Abercrombie has been the target of numerous discrimination lawsuits, including a federal class action brought by black, Hispanic and Asian employees and job applicants that was settled for $40 million in 2004. The company admitted no wrongdoing, though it was forced to implement new programs and policies to increase diversity.

Associated Press

General Dynamics wins Army rocket contract

CAMDEN, Ark. – The U.S. Army has awarded a $286 million contract to General Dynamics in Arkansas for the production of air-to-ground rockets.

General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products announced the contract to produce Hydra-70 rockets on Monday. General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products is a business unit of General Dynamics.

The order will be fulfilled at the company’s plant in Camden, Ark.

Associated Press