China under suspicion in U.S. for Lockheed hacking

WASHINGTON Thu Jun 2, 2011 5:57pm EDT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Suspicion that some individual or entity in China was behind a recent cyber attack on Lockheed Martin is growing among experts and agencies looking into the incident.

"It's unclear at this point precisely who conducted the attacks, but given past history with these sorts of things, there's a strong tendency to look east. The Far East, in fact, and a country that not so long ago hosted the Olympics," said one U.S. official who asked for anonymity, but was reluctant to point the finger at China by name.

Official and private U.S. cyber-security told Reuters that forensic tracing of attacks like the one that caused Lockheed temporarily to instruct employees to curb remote access to company networks was notoriously difficult, and that clever hackers usually lay elaborate false trails to cover their tracks.

But a U.S. official familiar with progress on the investigation said there was increasing suspicion the Lockheed hack originated with "someone in China."

Likewise, Google said on Wednesday that it had reason to believe that a hacker attack targeting some of its Gmail account holders appeared to originate in China.

The Chinese government rejected Google's allegations, saying that accusations that China fomented hacking "have ulterior motives" and that it was "unacceptable" for the company to blame Beijing.

On Thursday, Wang Baodong, a spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in Washington said he had nothing to add on the issue beyond "authoritative" denial issued earlier in the day by the Foreign Ministry in Beijing.

Lockheed said in a press statement that on May 21, the company detected what it described as a "significant and tenacious attack" on its networks. The company said it detected the attack "almost immediately," took "aggressive actions" to protect its systems and succeeded in insuring that no data of any kind was compromised.

People familiar with the Lockheed hacking attempt said that hackers managed to get into the defense contractor's networks using data stolen in March by hackers which could be used to reduce the effectiveness of SecureID tokens produced by EMC Corp . The tokens are widely used by companies to give their employees secure remote access to computer networks.

(Reporting by Mark Hosenball and Paul Eckert; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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Comments (3)
rajeevtco wrote:
when u let anyone steel your goat! and ignore the incident … they will come back for your car … and they will consider demanding for your house :-) China is a confused nation / no wonder why they fueled N’Korea.

my studies is that China didn’t grow over Japan it back-stabbed and dragged them down to hold the 2nd place in economy – all small poisoning targeting Japanese companies for years :-(

Jun 03, 2011 1:43am EDT  --  Report as abuse
DragonTattooz wrote:
If you support China and purchase Chinese products, you are aiding and abetting the enemy. American companies doing business in China are traitors. It is really just that simple. Without the USA, China would fall. Thanks to all you traitors for destroying our economy and helping the worst enemy this country has ever seen.

Yes, of course, in this day and age I purchase Chinese products. But I do shop for American made products, or products made somewhere other than China, whenever I can. I recently purchased sandals and had 2 choices Made in Viet Nam or Made in China. I chose the lesser of the 2 evils.

Jun 04, 2011 1:07pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
daniwitz13 wrote:
Does this mean that once they do find out for sure that the US will start sending drones to knock out those sites that hacked and cyber attacked America? Boy I can’t contain my excitement to hear about all the body parts that are unrecognizable at their site like in Pakistan. I’m sure that would be a TOTAL deterrent to everyone else, despite the fact WE might be TOTALLY gone, but who’s counting. Pity

Jun 04, 2011 1:26pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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