p2pnet view Security:- “Like any large company, EMC experiences and successfully repels multiple cyber attacks on its IT infrastructure every day. Recently, our security systems identified an extremely sophisticated cyber attack in progress being mounted against RSA. We took a variety of aggressive measures against the threat to protect our business and our customers, including further hardening of our IT infrastructure. We also immediately began an extensive investigation of the attack and are working closely with the appropriate authorities.”
That’s how smiling RSA senior boss Art Coviello (right) puts it in an open letter to customers.
The BBC, however, is somewhat more succinct.
“Hackers have stolen data about the security tokens used by millions of people to protect access to bank accounts and corporate networks”, it says, going on >>>
It did not disclose exactly what had been purloined and only said that the information “specifically related to RSA’s SecurID two-factor authentication products”.
RSA’s SecurID tokens are used by millions of people alongside passwords to beef up security.
As its name suggests, two-factor authentication involves improving security using two methods of identifying a user. The first factor is usually the traditional login ID and password combination.
The second factor can be a SecurID token that is paired with back-end software that generates a new six digit number every minute.
A token paired with this software generates the same numbers so only the holder will be able to type in the right digits and get access.
States RSA >>>
Our investigation has led us to believe that the attack is in the category of an Advanced Persistent Threat (APT). Our investigation also revealed that the attack resulted in certain information being extracted from RSA’s systems. Some of that information is specifically related to RSA’s SecurID two-factor authentication products. While at this time we are confident that the information extracted does not enable a successful direct attack on any of our RSA SecurID customers, this information could potentially be used to reduce the effectiveness of a current two-factor authentication implementation as part of a broader attack. We are very actively communicating this situation to RSA customers and providing immediate steps for them to take to strengthen their SecurID implementations.
We have no evidence that customer security related to other RSA products has been similarly impacted. We are also confident that no other EMC products were impacted by this attack. It is important to note that we do not believe that either customer or employee personally identifiable information was compromised as a result of this incident.
But “There could be “tremendous repercussions” if criminals piggy-backed on what they know to stealthily get at corporate and other critical systems”, the BBC has Richard Stiennon, chief research analyst at security firm IT-Harvest, saying.
“You’d never have a sign that you’ve been breached.”
Boasts the company, “As the chosen security partner of more than 90% of the Fortune 500, we help the world’s leading organizations succeed by solving their most complex and sensitive security challenges.”
BBC – Hackers tackle secure ID tokens, March 18, 2011
First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win ~ Mahatma Gandhi
World War III will be a global information war with no division between civilian & military participation ~ Marshall McLuhan
Net access blocked by government restrictions? Use Psiphon from the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto. Go here for details.