One of the nation’s largest defense contractors, Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) this weekend announced its information systems network had been struck by a “significant and tenacious attack,” something experts say is just the tip of the iceberg of security issues in the web domain affecting both government and industry.
The Bethesda, Md.-headquartered firm said in a press release its information security team detected the attack “almost immediately,” and was able to counter it and protect all systems and data before any damage was done.
“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,” the company said.
Sondra Barbour, the company’s chief information officer, said in a memorandum to employees the attack was part of a pattern of recurrent assaults from all around the globe.
“The fact is, in this new reality, we are a frequent target of adversaries around the world,” she said, according to Reuters.
The attackers were able to intrude Lockheed Martin’s security systems by creating duplicates to “SecurID” electronic keys obtained from a previous hack on EMC Corp’s RSA security division, an unidentified source told Reuters.
Richard Stiennon, chief research analyst at IT-Harvest and author of “Surviving Cyberwarfare,” told Financial Times if there is a direct connection between the RSA hack and the attacks on Lockheed Martin and other defense contractors, it will be “one of the most sophisticated sequences of attack events ever.”