Lockheed Martin's Security Networks Were HackedS

Lockheed Martin, one of the world's largest defense contractors, was hit hard by hackers this week who used falsified SecurID electronic tokens to gain access. The breach threatens the security of vital data on present and future military technology.

Which, you know, sucks for us and our allies abroad who depend on Lockheed to help keep us safe during the ongoing violence in places like Iraq and Afghanistan.

It isn't clear what, if anything, was stolen during the breach. It isn't even clear what the hackers want, but the attacks are being traced back to an hacking campaign back in March on the RSA Security arm of the EMC Corporation, an information storage firm. That one attack compromised the security of anyone using the RSA technology—which means most Fortune 500 companies, other military contractors, and even the Pentagon. Most of these companies have since taken action to address the security issues inherent here, but as Rick Moy, president of NSS Labs, told Reuters, "Given the military targets, and that millions of compromised keys are in circulation, this is not over."

Lockheed remains confident that their broader security systems already in place will have served to prevent or at least soften the blow from this breach. RSA, however, is at a crossroads. The fallout from this will likely result in newer, more secure, but more expensive technologies being relied upon in the future to prevent this from happening again.

The RSA breach did raise concerns about any security tokens that had been compromised, and EMC now faced tough questions about whether "they can repair that product line or whether they need to ditch it and start over again," he said.

Does that mean Lockheed will be investing in biometric scanners in the very-near future? Time will tell, as more details on just how serious this matter was are still on the way. [MSNBC Image via Columbia]