May 30, 2011

Lockheed Martin Repels Hacker Attempt

One of the largest defense contractors for the US military, Lockheed Martin, became the target of a "significant and tenacious" cyber attack.

Lockheed Martin, the Department of Homeland Security and the Pentagon confirmed that the contractor's information systems had come under attack by hackers.

Lt. Col. April Cunningham, speaking for the Defense Department, told the Associated Press (AP) that the impact on the Pentagon "is minimal and we don't expect any adverse effect."

Lockheed builds the country's premier air combat craft, the F-16, F-22 and F-35 fighter jets as well as warships and other multibillion-dollar arms systems sold worldwide. Military contractors' systems contain technical specifications on weapons under development as well as those in use, The Guardian is reporting.

The attempt to hack into the contractor's systems highlights the dangers to the nation's critical defense data. Chris Ortman, Homeland Security spokesman, said his agency and the Pentagon were working with the company to determine the breadth of the attack and "provide recommendations to mitigate further risk."

Lockheed Martin said in a statement, "our systems remain secure; no customer, program or employee personal data has been compromised." The company's security team is still working to restore employee access to the targeted network. Neither Lockheed Martin nor the federal agencies revealed specifics of the attack.

"No customer, program or employee personal data has been compromised," AFP is reporting. "Throughout the ongoing investigation, Lockheed Martin has continued to keep the appropriate US government agencies informed of our actions," the company said.

"The team continues to work around the clock to restore employee access to the network, while maintaining the highest level of security," the statement said.

Lockheed Martin employs about 126,000 people around the world. It focuses on design, development and manufacturing of advanced technology systems, including some of the military's most advanced weaponry. The company is also one of the world's largest defense contractors, with about 74 percent of its revenues in 2009 coming from military sales, AFP reports.


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