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RSA was not the only contractor to suffer a major breach, warns Lockheed

Amidst a mix of public testimony and leaked intelligence reports suggesting persistent cyber attacks on U.S. institutions by Iran and China, the top supplier to the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) is issuing a strongly worded warning.  Lockheed Martin Comp. (LMT), whose annual revenues eclipse $47B USD, warned Monday of a rising number of so-called "advanced persistent threats", noting that many of these sophisticated attacks were linked.

According to Chandra McMahon, Lockheed vice president and chief information security officer, her firm has been targeted by a number of serious attacks.  She comments, "The number of campaigns has increased dramatically over the last several years.  The pace has picked up."

All eyes are on Lockheed, after the company was selected to support the Pentagon's Cyber Crime Center (DC3), beating out previous contract holder General Dynamics Corp. (GD).

If you believe the gospel according to Lockheed, so to speak, the weakest part of the security chains at present are contractors.  In a discussion Lockheed executives revealed that EMC Corp. (EMC) subsidiary RSA, makers of the titular cryptographic standard was only one of two major contractor breaches.  Like RSA, the other contractor's info was used in an attempted second-wave attack on Lockheed.

 Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor [Source: Lockheed Martin]

Lockheed says it is working with both suppliers, as well as other potentially vulnerable partners, to shore up their security.

Charlie Croom, Lockheed's vice president of cybersecurity solutions remarks, "Suppliers are still a huge problem... the adversary has been very significant and tenacious and has really been targeting the defense industrial base."

Lockheed says that some of biggest dangers come from so-called spear phishing attacks, tailor-made attacks which target a specific company and are designed to lure employees to malicious websites or to download from an email files containing malware.  Lockheed also reports seeing a new wave off attacks over social media platforms.

The supplier says that it is aware of many potential cyber-spies creeping around its networks.  It says it had been tracking the spies who hacked RSA for a few years.  While the RSA information gave those parties a ticket to advance their efforts, Lockheed claims it ultimately stopped any significant data loss from occurring via in-house detection, monitoring, and network lockdown capabilities.

Source: Reuters





"If they're going to pirate somebody, we want it to be us rather than somebody else." -- Microsoft Business Group President Jeff Raikes






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