(CBS/AP) The attempted hacking of defense contractor Lockheed Martin once again shined the spotlight on the security of the high-tech infrastructure guarding the United States’ most closely held secrets.
The threat of attacks by enemies of the United States on the country’s cyber security is one that has been known about for years, officials and experts in the field of national security have said.
Joel Brenner, who held the title of national counterintelligence executive from 2006 to 2009, told the Reuters news agency Tuesday that not just Lockheed Martin but most large defense contractors, if not all of them, have had their networks breached.
“This has been happening since the late ’90s,” he told Reuters before referring to China, Iran and Russia, three countries he said are the American government’s main suspects of cyber espionage. “They’re after our weapons systems and R&D.”
That research and development is of interest to the more than 100 intelligence groups the Defense Department says have tried to crack American cyber security, Reuters reported.