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EMC Unit Said to Fix Defense Security Systems After Data Breach

EMC Corp.’s RSA unit is bolstering security for clients, including Lockheed Martin Corp., after a network breach in March resulted in the theft of RSA data, a person familiar with the process said.

The remediation involves replacing the SecurID tokens issued by RSA that often expire in three years, said the person, who wasn’t authorized to discuss the matter publicly. The company’s defense-contractor clients, which make missiles, aircraft and other weapons, also include Northrop Grumman Corp. and Raytheon Co. Dave Farmer, a spokesman for EMC declined to comment.

In March, EMC, based in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, reported that a cyber attack resulted in information being taken from its systems, including data related to RSA’s SecurID authentication products. Reuters reported May 27, citing unidentified people, that hackers gained access to Lockheed’s networks by duplicating the SecurID data.

Jeffery Adams, a spokesman for Bethesda, Maryland-based Lockheed, the world’s largest defense contractor and maker of the F-35 jet fighter, declined to comment on the reported network breach or the remedial efforts. The company regularly acts to “increase the security of our systems and to protect our employee, customer and program data,” Adams said.

Remote Access System

Users trying to access their employer’s network from remote locations may use a SecurID type device, a memory stick-like unit that generates random numbers that must be used in combination with a personal identification number to gain entry.

“If intruders get the key, the seed that enables one-time passwords to be generated,” then they may have the capability to break into networks that depend on such systems to authenticate users, Alan Paller, director of research at the SANS Institute, a computer security training institution in Bethesda, Maryland, said in an interview. Paller said he could not say if Lockheed’s networks were breached.

Randy Belote, a spokesman for Los Angeles-based Northrop Grumman and Jon Kasle, a spokesman for Raytheon of Waltham, Massachusetts, declined to comment.

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