If you didn’t already think cybersecurity is hot the latest round of web breaches is bound to make those in the IT/information security industry feel pretty good about their job prospects. Major defense contractors, including Lockheed Martin, L-3 and Northrop Grumman, are the latest to be hit in a series of web breaches.

The sophisticated attack by hackers was able to breach defense systems by creating duplicates to “SecureID” electronic keys from the RSA security division. The electronic keys are basically fobs that display a constantly changing password. A long-standing means of security, the key fobs are far less expensive than other options, such as biometrics based options such as fingerprinting and retina scans, and typically seen as a solid form of information security. In the face of the RSA breach, however, it is speculated that biometric security may become more in demand.

Most of the defense contractors have declined to comment, noting that they don’t discuss the details of breaches. Many in the intelligence field have noted that major defense contractors have been under attack by cyber criminals since the 1990s. Hackers seek proprietary information, research and development data and information on weapons systems.

“We have policies and procedures in place to mitigate the cyber threats to our business, and we remain confident in the integrity of our robust, multi-layered information systems security,” said Lockheed spokesman Jeffery Adams.

The attacks come on the heels of a White House announcement on cybersecurity, as well as a Pentagon cybersecurity strategy set to be released later this month. Early reports on the Pentagon strategy note that it will be coming out strongly against cyber attacks, declaring them an act of war.

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