RSA: Attack was done by two groups with one definitely from a nation state
RSA: Attack was done by two groups with one definitely from a nation state

RSA has confirmed that a nation state actor was one of the groups behind the attack against the company earlier this year.

Executive chairman Art Coviello confirmed in a Q&A session at the RSA Conference Europe that the sophistication of the attack could only suggest that this was attributed to a nation state. He said that RSA does not have the forensic evidence to suggest which particular nation is was however.

He said: “For us, the breach was a validation of our strategy that a perimeter defence was not effective and that is why we bought NetWitness so that we were able to do remediation. There has been no successful attacks with the information and only one incident where the information taken was used in an attack.”

Eddie Schwartz, CISO of RSA, who arrived at the company as a result of the NetWitness acquisition, said that the attackers abused the naming convention and had an understanding of the network.

Coviello later said that the two groups who attacked the company were coordinated from a nation state, with one supporting another and one that was very visible.

In terms of replacing tokens, RSA president Tom Heiser said that it would not disclose the amount it was replacing or who to, but said that supply had met demand around August.

Coviello said: “A small percentage were affected and on day one after the disclosure we evaluated the problem. We replaced tokens for enterprise customers as consumers had limited exposure.”

Heiser said: “We got to to the top 500 customers relatively quickly and the challenge was to meet the needs of tens of thousands of customers, so we used our marketing and press departments to identify those customers. We could not hand-pick who we went to.”