Digital Conflict: Lockheed tight-lipped on details of cyberattack

Some have criticized Lockheed Martin for not disclosing details about the large-scale cyberattack the company experienced in May. But the company might have good reason to do this.

The global intelligence community warned nations worldwide in 2010 that cyber warfare had risen to the top of their strategic defense planning and resource allocation. Given that stark warning, many defense contractors believe that the cyber conflict domain is the single greatest growth market in the defense and security sector worldwide.

Just look at the recent headlines about the largest defense contractor in the world, Lockheed Martin. Lockheed officials publically disclosed that the company had experienced a “significant and tenacious” cyberattack that was designed to breach its networks and systems. Once the defense contractor detected the cyberattack, which is said to have been very early on in the unfolding of the attack, it quickly took defensive actions to protect its data and systems. The Defense and Homeland Security departments know about the attack and are working with Lockheed Martin to analyze it.

There have been those that have criticized Lockheed Martin for being tight-lipped and not disclosing details of the incident. I applaud the company’s containment of this information. Having advised on significant cyberattacks, I cannot stress enough the need to evaluate and coordinate any disclosure with the potential impact the release of any information could have on the rapidly evolving cyber investigation.