US offers Lockheed help after reported breach

By Gopal Ratnam
Bloomberg News / May 29, 2011

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WASHINGTON — Lockheed Martin Corp., the world’s largest defense contractor, has been offered US help after a cyber incident that affected the company’s computer network, an official for the Department of Homeland Security said.

The department “is aware of a cyber incident impacting’’ Lockheed and together with “the Department of Defense, has been in contact with the company to offer assistance in determining the extent of the incident, performing analysis of available data in order to provide recommendations to mitigate further risk,’’ Chris Ortman, a spokesman for the agency, said in an e-mail. He didn’t elaborate on the incident.

The Defense Department said it is aware of a cyber incident that affected Lockheed. The impact of the incident on the Pentagon “is minimal and we don’t expect any adverse effect,’’ Lieutenant Colonel April Cunningham, a spokeswoman, said in an e-mail.

In a report, Reuters, citing unidentified officials, said Lockheed’s computers were attacked by hackers. Jeffery Adams, a spokesman for Lockheed, maker of the F-35 jet fighter, declined to comment on the reported breach or the remedial efforts.

EMC Corp.’s RSA unit bolstered security for clients, including Lockheed Martin, after a network breach in March resulted in the theft of RSA data, a person familiar with the process said.

EMC, based in Hopkinton, Mass., reported in March that a cyber attack resulted in information being taken from its systems, including data related to RSA’s SecurID authentication products. The remediation involves replacing the SecurID tokens issued by RSA that often expire in three years, said the person, who wasn’t authorized to discuss the matter publicly. The company’s defense-contractor clients, which make missiles, aircraft, and other weapons, also include Northrop Grumman Corp. and Raytheon Co.

Dave Farmer, a spokesman for EMC, declined to comment.