By Bob Sullivan Technology correspondent
msnbc.com
updated 9/1/2006 5:31:01 PM ET 2006-09-01T21:31:01

Anti-war activists recently managed to hijack a limited number of phone calls headed for Lockheed Martin employees, the company told MSNBC.com on Friday. The firm described the incident as mischief and said there was no indication that sensitive information had been stolen.

"It appears to be very limited in scope," said Thomas C. Greer, Sr. Manager, Lockheed Martin Media Relations. the incident impacted 16-20 employees for about 24 hours, he said.  "It would appear this was mischievous type of activity. There is no indication ...this was a concerted attack on our network systems."

The attack was described as a simple call-forwarding trick that allowed activists to forward calls destined for employee cell phones to telephone lines controlled by the activists.

Greer said he was unable to describe what kind of telephone calls were intercepted, or what part of the company the affected employees worked in.  He did say it was unlikely that sensitive material would have been exposed during the incident.

"We don't communicate/store classified/sensitive information on cell phones," Greer wrote in an e-mail. "Therefore, there would be very little concern over any compromise of sensitive information."

Company employees were warned about the incident in a recent internal e-mail obtained by MSNBC.com.

"Last week... Lockheed Martin (LM) employees had their ... mobile phones involuntarily forwarded to various anti-war messages and hotlines," the message read.  "Voice services, in conjunction with local business unit security, worked... to identify and correct the affected phone numbers and determine next steps." 

Greer said the firm was still investigating, though at this point, to his knowledge the FBI had not initiated an investigation. 

"It's an isolated incident," he said. 

Still, it's potentially embarrassing for Lockheed Martin, the world's largest defense contractor.  Nearly all of its revenue comes from contracts with the U.S. Defense Department and foreign governments. Among other projects, it builds fighter planes and missiles for the U.S. military. 

Just this week, the company won an $8.5 billion contract from NASA to build its next generation spacecraft.

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