SECURITY VENDOR RSA admitted that its internal anti-hacking technologies have been hacked.
Parent company EMC, which is one of the largest enterprise storage vendors, stated in a US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing that its RSA division was the victim of an "advanced persistent threat", which the Associated Press claims is "industry jargon for a sophisticated computer attack".
EMC did not divulge details of the attack, however it did say it discovered an "extremely sophisticated" attack against its networks with attackers making off with confidential data on RSA's SecurID products.
In the SEC filing by EMC, RSA said that it is "confident that the information extracted does not enable a successful direct attack on any of our RSA SecurID customers". Nevertheless, the company warned that "this information could potentially be used to reduce the effectiveness of a current two-factor authentication implementation as part of a broader attack".
For EMC, the RSA break-in and theft is deeply embarrassing, as RSA is one of the best known security vendors in the market. Many large firms, government organisations and medical organisations use RSA's two-factor authentication software for access control.
The procedure generates a passcode using a secondary device, meaning that if the user's password is compromised, access will not be granted without the device generated passcode. The fear is that hackers got hold of the algorithms used to generate the passcodes.
For its part, RSA was quick to say that it was taking "immediate remediation steps" for its customers.
EMC hopes that the fall-out from this attack will be limited and said the RSA break-in won't have an affect on its financial results.
While EMC might not be expecting any financial blowback, its customers must be eager to find out whether and how badly their RSA based security might have been compromised. µ
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