Weapon Design May Have to Change after Cyber Attack

Pentagon officials are considering whether they will have to redesign a weapon system after a cyber attack presumably launched by “a foreign intelligence service,” against an undisclosed defense contractor in March, said Deputy Defense Secretary Bill Lynn. Speaking Thursday at the unveiling of the Pentagon’s first-ever cyberspace strategy in Washington, D.C., Lynn said 24,000 data files were stolen in this intrusion. While the data breach “did not necessarily” set DOD back in this weapon system’s development, it “compromised information relative to the design of military equipment,” he said. He declined to identify the weapon system. If a foreign intelligence service was the culprit, that means, “in other words, a nation-state was behind it,” explained Lynn. He did not say how the United States responded. Lynn said the intrusion was just the latest in a series of attacks that have been growing in number in recent years. “It’s hard to quantify these [cyber attacks], but the number of significant intrusions is much, much smaller than the number of scans that are done on our systems each day,” he said. More recently, Lockheed Martin and Booz Allen Hamilton reportedly were the targets of cyber intrusions. (Lynn remarks) (Lynn-Cartwright transcript) (Cyberspace strategy full document; caution, large-sized file.)