Security Experts:

Lockheed Martin Suffers Major Network Disruption, Sources Say

According to a report coming from Reuters, Lockheed Martin, the largest provider of IT services, systems integration, and training to the U.S. Government, is experiencing a major disruption to its computer systems, possibly related to a network security issue, sources familiar with the issue told Reuters on Thursday.

Lockheed Cyber AttackLockheed Martin, with the majority of its business being with the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. federal government agencies, is struggling with "major internal computer network problems," according to a Reuters source who was not authorized to publicly discuss the matter.

SecurityWeek reached out to Lockheed Martin for comment but the company declined to provide any specific information or acknowledge any disruption. “As a matter of policy, we don’t discuss specific threats or responses. However, to counter any threats, we regularly take actions to increase the security of our systems and to protect our employee, customer and program data,” Lockheed Martin spokesman Jeffrey Adams wrote in an email to SecurityWeek.

While this is a developing story with few details available, it’s important to note that a network disruption does not automatically mean a breach has occurred. A breach could have occurred, but we're not going to make that call until more details emerge. Some reports are saying that Lockheed is replacing RSA Tokens used to access it's VPN, and that parts of its network were shut down during the replacement process. The United States Department of Defense has more than 7 million systems that are “probed” by unauthorized users 250,000 times every hour, according to a statement from General Keith Alexander last year. It’s not uncommon for segments of highly sensitive networks like this to be shut down as a protective measure in the event a significant attack or threat is detected.

“We have policies and procedures in place to mitigate the cyber threats to our business, and we remain confident in the integrity of our robust, multi-layered information systems security,” Adams added.

Earlier this week, Lockheed Martin and Carnegie Mellon University announced that they will conduct joint research and development as on the future of cyber operations, in a new cyber lab opened by Lockheed Martin near the campus of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA.

Bethesda, Maryland based Lockheed Martin has about 126,000 employees worldwide and provides systems to help agencies and customers in the .MIL, .GOV. and .COM sectors defend and secure themselves from cyber attacks, in what the Company refers to as .COMbat-- an acronym for Continuous Operations of Mission, Battling Advanced Threats.

Lockheed Martin operates two cyber security intelligence centers, one 5,000 square foot center in Denver, and one 8,000 square foot facility in Gaithersburg, Maryland,which are operated by its Computer Incident Response Team (CIRT). The two, fully-integrated facilities serve as Lockheed Martin’s focal points for computer network defense including detection, identification and response to all information security incidents. Both facilities are built to secure government and Department of Defense (DoD) specifications, and feature classified systems that are connected to information sharing networks such as the DoD Cyber Crime Center's DIBNet. The centers include an operations floor, digital forensics area, secure evidence storage room, classified workspace, executive conference room and server room.

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For more than 10 years, Mike Lennon has been closely monitoring the threat landscape and analyzing trends in the National Security and enterprise cybersecurity space. In his role at SecurityWeek, he oversees the editorial direction of the publication and is the Director of several leading security industry conferences around the world.