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US military contractors face cyber-attacks, Lockheed Martin confirms

Like the plot of a Hollywood blockbuster, the US military’s largest contractor, Lockheed Martin in a recent statement confirmed that it had faced cyber-attacks.

The US-based multi-national defence contractor described one of the attacks as “significant and tenacious”.

The attack which apparently occurred on the 21st of May was immediately detected by Lockheed Martin’s security team. The team leapt into “quick action” using “aggressive actions” to protect systems and data to successfully repel the attack.

The statement continued that in spite of the attack, the company was still confident in the strength of its “robust, multi-layered information systems security.”

As per Lockheed, “no customer, program or employee personal data has been compromised”.

Lockheed Martin, being the world’s biggest aerospace company and the Pentagon’s number one supplier according to sales, went on to say the relevant US government authorities had been notified of the attack.

“Throughout the ongoing investigation into the attack, Lockheed Martin has continued to keep the appropriate US government agencies informed of our actions”, the company said.

Responding to queries from Reuters, Chris Ortman, a Department of Homeland Security official said that the US government had offered to help Lockheed analyse “available data in order to provide recommendations to mitigate further risk”.

Reuters also reported a source — prior to Lockheed’s statement — had indicated that the along with Lockheed, the Pentagon’s 2nd and 3rd largest suppliers, Boeing Co. and Northrop Grumman and other suppliers had also faced attacks.

Boeing and Northrup declined to comment.

Jay Carney, White House spokesperson, said the day following Lockheed’s statement that President Barack Obama had been informed of the attack.

“It has been part of the briefing materials that he has”, Carney said. “My understanding, based on what I’ve seen, is they feel it’s fairly minimal in terms of the damage.”

US government officials to the media said that any results of the attack for US government agencies including the Pentagon were, “minimal” and no adverse effects on operations were expected.

Whilst saying its officials were working “around the clock to restore employee access to the network, while maintaining the highest level of security.” Lockheed Martin did not mention any suspects regarding the source of the cyber-attack.

However, purported diplomatic cables from US embassies released by Wikileaks, stated that the Chinese government had overtaken the US when it came to cyber-espionage.

Author | Mvelase Peppetta

Mvelase Peppetta
Mvelase is a Senior Account Manager at Irvine Bartlett one of the most sought after full service public relations companies in South Africa. Mvelase is passionate about all things digital and the social media landscape, particularly as it relates to the integration of digital public relations management within the traditional... More
  • Why are these vital systems on these networks in the first place? They should be on closed, private networks, not wide, hack able ones such as the internet

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