Forbes Magazine: For anyone who has a security clearance and doesn’t believe the U.S. faces a cyber-espionage crisis, Steven Shirley has 102 stories to share with you. … That’s the number of cases in which Shirley’s team of Pentagon researchers discovered cyberspies breaching the networks of government agencies, defense contractors and other organizations with ties to the U.S. Department of Defense, gaining administrator-level access with the aim of stealing military secrets.
The Pentagon’s forensics-focused Cyber Crime Center, where Shirley is executive director, found that between August 2007 and August 2009, 71 government agencies, contractors, universities and think tanks with connections to the U.S. military had been penetrated by foreign hackers, in some cases multiple times. In total, Shirley told Forbes, the center performed 116 investigations following spying breaches and found that in all but 14 of those cases the intruders had gained complete administrator-level access to the victim’s network.
“There are some significant defense contractors among that number,” Shirley says. “We can say that any company that’s involved in high-technology research and development is a target for these adversaries.”
According to Forbes, “military contractors General Dynamics and Northrop Grumman have both been successfully breached by cyberspies in the last two years, according to sources familiar with the security situations of those companies.”