May 30, 2011- The nation’s largest military contractor, Lockheed Martin, battled disruptions last week due to an attempted hack on their system and it may be tied to a hacking attack on a vendor who supplies security tokens. The electronic tokens, SecurID, are used in order to get access to computer networks by government officials and corporate employees from remote locations away from their offices. They are supplied by the EMC Corporation’s RSA Security division.
They acknowledged in March a security data breach that may well have compromised some of their security products. The problems that Lockheed faced last week appear to possibly stem from that breach and if they are, they are the first signs of damage from it.
Because RSA technology is used by so many federal agencies and Fortune 500 companies, the breach hit the computer security community quite hard. Many of their customers took additional measures to protect themselves because of the intrusion by finding alternative solutions, adding security measures or just shutting down remote access. There may be others besides Lockheed that may have faced similar attacks but never realized it.
Officials in the industry that talked on the condition of anonymity said that Lockheed detected an intruder a week ago Sunday, trying to enter their network. They shut down the majority of remote access and new passwords and tokens are being provided to many employees. Since they manufacture spy satellites, fighter planes and many other confidential equipment as well as cyber-security services to intelligence and military agencies some say it may be an embarrassment to them because of failing to better protect their own back year.