Lockheed says frequent cyber target from around world

WASHINGTON Sun May 29, 2011 1:15pm EDT

The F-35 Lightning II, also known as the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), planes arrive at Edwards Air Force Base in California in this May 2010 file photo. REUTERS/Tom Reynolds/Lockheed Martin Corp/Handout

The F-35 Lightning II, also known as the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), planes arrive at Edwards Air Force Base in California in this May 2010 file photo.

Credit: Reuters/Tom Reynolds/Lockheed Martin Corp/Handout

Related Topics

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Lockheed Martin Corp, the U.S. government's top information technology provider, said on Sunday that a "tenacious" cyberattack on its network last weekend was part of a pattern of frequent attacks on it from around the world.

"The fact is, in this new reality, we are a frequent target of adversaries around the world," Sondra Barbour, the company's chief information officer, said in a memorandum to employees.

Eight days after the "significant and tenacious" May 21 attack was detected and countered, Bethesda, Maryland-based Lockheed is still working around the clock to restore employee access to the network while maintaining the highest level of security, Barbour said.

Lockheed's first response included "proactively" shutting down the company's virtual private network, or VPN, she said. A VPN is a secure way of connecting to a private network using the Internet or any public network to carry network data privately through encryption.

Other counter measures included resetting all user passwords, upgrading remote access SecurID tokens and adding a new level of security to the remote access network log-on procedure, Barbour said.

Lockheed said on Saturday night that it had warded off the attack after detecting it "almost immediately." It said it had taken aggressive actions to protect systems and data. No compromise of customer, program or employees' personal data had occurred, the company said.

Lockheed is the Pentagon's top supplier by sales. It builds the F-16, F-22 and F-35 fighter aircraft as well as the Aegis naval combat system and THAAD missile defense.

A U.S. Defense Department spokeswoman, Air Force Lieutenant Colonel April Cunningham, said Saturday night that the Pentagon was working with Lockheed to gauge the scope of the May 21 attack. The impact on the department had been "minimal and we don't expect any adverse effect," she said.

Neither Lockheed nor the U.S. government has commented yet on the possible origin of the attack.

(Reporting by Jim Wolf; Editing by Chris Wilson)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (9)
TheCreator wrote:
It has been wide spread knowledge that the RSA SecureID has been vulnerable for months now. The fact that a firm such as LockHeed Martin is still using it for critical intelligence security is just not wise on their part. Those SecureID tags are nothing more now than decoration for your key chain.

May 28, 2011 9:46pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
ghhugh39 wrote:
The Guardian just did an indepth analysis and research piece on Pvt. Manning.

Get ready for big time hacking against those that hold Defense contracts with the USA.

Read the Guardian articles. True shockers.

May 28, 2011 10:25pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
MarkDonners wrote:
Nobody really cares if the US military has breaches in their path. The US military hasn’t been involved in a war since WWII, just mass murder of civilians and illegal invasion, bombing and occupation of weak countries.

May 28, 2011 10:35pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.