"This is a realm in which a lot of people are trying to make a name for themselves and they're very eager to lean forward and say they've stopped this attack or that attack," the Homeland Security official said.
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BAE Systems spokeswoman Morag Lucey declined to discuss the contact from Homeland Security. "We realized after the broadcast went out that our normal internal procedures had not been followed and also received a number of inquiries from stakeholders about the story—when we looked into this, we realized the error," she said. "Once we had a reasonable level of certainty that the information we had provided was inaccurate, we acted as quickly as possible. We have engaged with all relevant stakeholders but do not comment on communications with specific authorities."
BAE Systems declined to provide CNBC with a copy of the scenario it says was the basis for the inaccurate announcement. "We don't actually have something that's physically available to give to somebody," Lucey said. Asked whether the scenario is formatted as lines of code, PowerPoint or in some other document, Lucey said, "it's a collection of all different types of information."
BAE Systems also declined to make Henninger available for a follow-up interview or to discuss his status with the company. Previously, BAE has said Henninger is "taking some time away from the business."
—By CNBC's Eamon Javers. Follow him on Twitter: @eamonjavers