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) -- RSA Security, a unit of

EMC Corp.


, Monday acknowledged the breach of its SecurID remote access technology that took place in March was part of a broader attempt to hack government defense contractor

Lockheed Martin

(LMT) - Get Lockheed Martin Corporation (LMT) Report

and extended an offer to "virtually" all of its customers to replace their tokens.

In an

open letter posted on RSA's Web site

, RSA Executive Chairman Art Coviello stressed that the news of its breach being related to the attack on Lockheed "does not reflect a new threat or vulnerability" in his company's technology, and said the choice of target makes clear the motive of the attackers.

"We remain highly confident in the RSA SecurID product as the leading multi-factor authentication solution and we also feel strongly that the specific remediations we have provided to customers will help to deliver the highest levels of customer protection," Coviello stated.

The company said it's offering to replace tokens for customers with concentrated user bases that are focused on protecting intellectual property, and that it's offering to put in place "risk-based authentification strategies" for consumer-focused customers who need to be able to protect financial transactions.

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In an interview with the

Wall Street Journal

, Coviello said the company would offer to replace tokens

"for virtually every customer we have."

In the letter, Coviello stated RSA would "work with all customers to assess their unique risk profiles and user populations and help them understand which options may be most effective and least disruptive to their business and their users."

EMC shares closed Monday's regular session at $27.32, down 2.2%. Year-to-date, the stock is up roughly 22%, and 28 of the 38 analysts covering it rate it at either strong buy or buy. The company's RSA Information Security business generated revenue of $729.4 million in fiscal 2010, a little more than 4% of the company annual total of $17.02 billion.


Written by Michael Baron in New York.

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Michael Baron


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