Defence contractor Lockheed Martin has reported a ‘dramatic growth' in the number and sophistication of cyber attacks on its networks.
According to Reuters, the attacks are ‘international' and attackers were clearly targeting Lockheed suppliers to gain access to information since the company had fortified its own networks.
Chandra McMahon, Lockheed vice president and chief information security officer, said about 20 per cent of the threats were considered to be advanced persistent threats (APT) and had increased dramatically over the last few years.
Rohan Amin, Lockheed program director for the Pentagon's cyber crime centre, said that internal analysis showed that the number of campaigns had clearly grown, and multiple campaigns were often linked.
The company suffered an attack in 2011 as a result of the attack on RSA, with McMahon also saying that the attack was due to the compromise of another, as yet unidentified, company. However Lockheed Martin later said that no customer, program or employee personal data was compromised in that attack and it detected the attack ‘almost immediately'.
“The adversary was able to get information from RSA and then they were also able to steal information from another supplier of ours, and they were able to put those two pieces of information together and launch an attack on us,” McMahon said.
As the main information technology provider to the US government, Lockheed has long worked to secure data on computer networks run by a range of civilian and military agencies. The company is also trying to expand sales of cyber security technology and services to commercial firms, including its suppliers and foreign governments, according to executives.