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Lockheed says "significant and tenacious" attack launched on its computers

Lockheed: turned
back cyber attack

A widely reported attack on the computer systems of one of the nation's largest defense contractors was confirmed by that company May 28, a week after the assault took place.

"On Saturday, May 21, Lockheed Martin detected a significant and tenacious attack on its information systems network," the company said in a statement. "The company’s information security team detected the attack almost immediately, and took aggressive actions to protect all systems and data."

"As a result of the swift and deliberate actions taken to protect the network and increase IT security, our systems remain secure; no customer, program or employee personal data has been compromised," it continued.

It also noted that throughout the ongoing investigation, the company has continued to keep the appropriate U.S. government agencies informed of its actions, and its security team is working around the clock to restore employee access to the network, while maintaining the highest level of security.

News of the attack first appeared on the Internet on May 25 in a column by technology blogger Robert Cringley, although he did not refer to Lockheed Martin by name. The following day Reuters pinned the attack to Lockheed Martin, but the company would not officially confirm or deny the event.

Both Cringley and Reuters connected the assault on Lockheed Martin's systems to a security breach at RSA that is thought to have compromised its SecureID token solution. EMC Corp., of Hopkington, MA, which owns RSA, has been mum on the subject of the link between the SecureID breach and the Lockheed Martin attack.

Following the RSA incident in March, it was predicted by some that a string of security breaches similar to the one at Lockheed would occur. However, few such breaches have come to light.

Nevertheless, there have been signs that the RSA breach has shaken confidence in the company's SecureID solution. For example, a poll taken in April showed that 44 percent of SecureID users were re-evaluating their use of the tokens and another 15 percent were evaluating token alternatives.


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