Hackers Hit US Defense Contractors

It's not clear what they got
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 28, 2011 10:05 AM CDT
Hackers Breach Security of US Defense Contractors
A US Air Force Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon jet.   (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

This can't be good: Hackers breached the security networks of top US defense contractors, reports Reuters. The story has no details on what, if anything, the hackers got, and points out that any highly classified work would likely be out of reach on a closed government network. But it's possible that some details on future weapons systems as well as weapons in use today in Iraq and Afghanistan were compromised. Lockheed Martin got hit for sure, and it looks like General Dynamic, Boeing, Northrup Grumman, and Raytheon were exposed by the same vulnerability.

The hackers got in by figuring out a weakness in the "electronic key" system designed by the RSA security division of EMC Corp. A big part of the problem in cases like this is all those people logging in from home and on the road, outside the office firewall, notes Phil Wainewright at ZDNet. "Some say that the right response to cloud threats is to completely isolate the corporate network from the cloud," he writes. "But that’s not realistic in today’s connected world." Security threats are the price we pay for that convenience, and we're going to have to deal with it. (The news comes on the heels of the big breach at Sony.)

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