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Defense Contractors Don't Want to Say When They've Been Hacked
From: InfoSec News <alerts () infosecnews org>
Date: Fri, 14 Dec 2012 03:47:13 -0600 (CST)

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/12/defense-contractors-hacked

By Dana Liebelson
Mother Jones
Dec. 13, 2012

In 2009, it came to light that hackers had successfully broken into the most expensive Pentagon weapons program of all time, the F-35 fighter jet, by gaining access to computers allegedly belonging to the defense contractor BAE Systems (the contractor part came out later). There had "never been anything like it," one unnamed official told the Wall Street Journal. The intruders were later confirmed to be Chinese spies, and lo and behold, in 2012 China rolled out a stealth fighter that looked suspiciously like the F-35. Was it a coincidence?

It took several years for all of the details of the F-35 breach to be unearthed. (The first hack took place in 2007, wasn't publicly reported until 2009, and BAE Systems' alleged role didn't come out until 2012.) But a new amendment to the defense budget, introduced by Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), would prevent contractors from not disclosing when they've been hacked. The amendment would require defense contractors to report to the Pentagon when spies and hackers successfully scale their firewalls. And the contractors don't appear to be happy about it.

Some of the contractors' grievances were aired in Politico on Monday. Trey Hodgkins, a senior vice president at TechAmerica, a trade association, said that contractors are already participating in a voluntary information-sharing program, and they "are likely to fight the change."

Mother Jones contacted four major defense contractors: KBR, Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems, and L-3 Communications. Only Jennifer Allen, a spokesperson for Lockheed Martin, responded—with a non-comment comment. "We are reviewing the cybersecurity amendment in the recently passed Senate version of the defense authorization bill, and will watch it closely," she said.

[...]

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