Cybercriminals apparently aren't shy about who they target with cyber attacks, as defense contractors and organizations are regularly inundated with threats.
At the recent Aerospace and Defense Summit hosted by Reuters, officials with various defense firms acknowledged how often they are the subject of cyber attacks. Many of these threats appear to be sponsored by sovereign nations and are launched from all over the world, though experts chose not to identify specifically where.
"Every defense company is constantly under attack. If anybody tells you they're not, it just means they don't know," Wes Bush, the CEO of well-known contractor Northrop Grumman, told Reuters. "It is a threat that is broad-based. It's not just from one source … and it's just unceasing."
Many of the conference's attendees said that something must be done to bolster internet security, otherwise serious threats to their networks and national security will persist.
"They're very frequent and they have varying levels of sophistication, but the sophistication seems to be getting greater," Lockheed Martin CEO Robert Stevens told the news provider. "The agility seems to be getting more adaptable, and the challenges are genuinely growing."
While the percentage may be low, some of these attacks are successful. In May, Lockheed acknowledged that it was able to avoid serious repercussions from a minor infiltration. Full details of the incident were sparse, but both Stevens and the White House said the attempt was thwarted before any sensitive information was breached.
Upon returning from its summer recess, it appears that the U.S. Congress has taken up the issue of cybersecurity in hopes of stamping out such incidents. Several proposed pieces of legislation will address everything from strengthening the response of law enforcement to cybercrimes to awarding more oversight of federal IT systems to the Department of Homeland Security.