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June 2nd, 2011

U.S. Government Contractor Northrop Grumman Suspends Remote Network Access, Raising Cyber Attack Suspicions

Northrop Grumman, the second largest U.S. government contractor, has abruptly suspended remote access to its network last week, raising suspicions of a cyber attack.

Fox News quotes a confidential source inside the company who claims the suspension came without any advance notice on May 26.

“We went through a domain name and password reset across the entire organization. This caught even my executive management off guard and caused chaos,” the source said.

The insider also noted that such actions are normally announced in advance, which suggests the decision was the result of a very serious incident that required immediate action.

This latest revelation follows the announcement last week that Lockheed Martin, the largest US government contractor, suspended VPN access and reset all passwords following a cyber attack against its network.

In the Lockheed Martin attack, the hackers used cloned SecurID tokens to get past the company’s defenses. It’s believed the access devices were created with information stolen from RSA Security earlier this year.

RSA, a division of EMC and manufacturer of the SecurID authentication tokens, suffered a security breach in March which resulted in information related to the product being leaked.

The full implications of the breach are not known because RSA has made very little information public. The company shared more details about the incident with its customers but had them sign non-disclosure agreements first.

The SecurID tokens are used by millions of companies around the world, including most of the Fortune 500 ones. The product is also deployed across government agencies.

Before the Lockheed Martin cyber attack was revealed, L-3 Communications, another major government contractor, warned its employees about intrusion attempts that leveraged information stolen from RSA.

“We do not comment on whether or not Northrop Grumman is or has been a target for cyber intrusions. As a leader in cybersecurity, Northrop Grumman continuously monitors and proactively strengthens the security of our networks,” a Northrop spokesperson told Fox.

Credit: News

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  • Lockheed Martin Discovers Network Intrusion, Suspends Remote Access
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  • White House Network Hacked By Chinese On Multiple Occasions

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