Feeds

Second defence contractor targeted in RSA SecurID-based hack

L-3 Communications also blames token-based attack...

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Defence giant L-3 Communications has become the second victim of an attempted hack attack that relied on the RSA SecurID hack that took place earlier this year.

A leaked internal memo, obtained by Wired, said that L-3's Stratus group had been actively targeted with attacks based on "leveraging compromised information" from the SecurID keyfob two-factor authentication system. It's unclear whether these attacks succeeded or how L-3 came to pin the blame on RSA's SecurID system. L-3, which supplies command and control systems to the US military, would only say that it takes security seriously and that this particular incident had been resolved, without saying how.

News of the attempted L-3 breach comes days after LockHeed Martin suspended remote access and began re-issuing keyfob tokens following the detection of hacking attacks also linked to the high-profile breach against RSA back in March. The manufacturer of F-22 and F-35 fighter planes confirmed the attempted hack, first reported by tech blogger Robert Cringely, which took place on or around the weekend on 21 May. In a statement, Lockheed confirmed the attempted hack but said that its "systems remain secure; no customer, program or employee personal data has been compromised".

Unidentified hackers broke into RSA network back in March before extracting unspecified information related to SecurID, possibly the seed used to generate one-time codes supplied by its tokens and their associated serial numbers. Armed with this information, an attacker would need only to obtain the PIN a user logs in with in order to gain the same rights to access sensitive information, highly valuable blueprints and more. PIN numbers might be extracted using keylogging Trojans, possibly punted via targeted emails (ie spear phishing).

It may be that Lockheed Martin and L-3 responded after detecting just this type of attack but this is just an educated guess on our part. Pending a clearer statement from RSA on what was taken during the original hack, we can be forgiven for assuming the worst.

RSA has said how it was attacked but not what data was extracted, aside from saying that this "information could potentially be used to reduce the effectiveness of a current two-factor authentication implementation as part of a broader attack". EMC's security division added at the time that it was working with customers to make sure their systems remained secure. ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM
Anyone claiming to know before tomorrow is telling porkies
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
China hacked US Army transport orgs TWENTY TIMES in ONE YEAR
FBI et al knew of nine hacks - but didn't tell TRANSCOM
Microsoft to patch ASP.NET mess even if you don't
We know what's good for you, because we made the mess says Redmond
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.