US weapons designs hacked by Chinese—report

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An image provided by Vandenberg Air Force Base shows an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile being launched during an operational test Wednesday May 22, 2013, from Launch Facility-4 on Vandenberg AFB, California. US officials and defense firms have concluded that Chinese hackers have breached networks containing designs of many advanced US weapons systems, the Washington Post reported Tuesday, May 28, 2013. AP PHOTO/VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE

WASHINGTON—US officials and defense firms have concluded that Chinese hackers have breached networks containing designs of many advanced US weapons systems, the Washington Post reported Tuesday.

The Post, citing a confidential report prepared for the Pentagon, said the breaches were part of a broad Chinese campaign of espionage against US defense contractors and government agencies.

The newspaper said the Defense Science Board, a senior advisory group with government and civilian experts, said the systems breached included the designs for two dozen major weapons systems critical to US missile defenses and combat aircraft and ships.

The Pentagon advisory report stopped short of accusing the Chinese of stealing the designs, but the conclusions help explain the ramped-up US warnings to the Chinese government.

The Post said the conclusions were in a previously undisclosed section of a confidential report prepared by the Defense Science Board.

It said the breaches gave China access to advanced technology and could weaken the US military advantage in the event of a conflict.

A public version of the report disclosed in January said the United States is ill-prepared in the case of a full-scale cyberwar.

The Post said it obtained a confidential version of the report with a list of the designs hacked including the advanced Patriot missile system; an Army system for shooting down ballistic missiles; and the Navy’s Aegis ballistic-missile defense system.

Also breached, according the daily were designs for combat aircraft and ships, including the F/A-18 fighter jet, the V-22 Osprey, the Black Hawk helicopter and the Navy’s new Littoral Combat Ship.

Another program on the list is the massive F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, according to the Post, which had been subject to a previous computer intrusion.

If the report is accurate, “it means the US military is less effective and the Chinese military is more effective,” said James Lewis, a cybersecurity expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

“It tilts the balance.”

Lewis said it was not clear when these breaches took place, but noted that “people did wake up to this issue in the last couple of years and made it harder.”

But he said that “between 1999 and 2009 it was an open door for Chinese (cyber) espionage.”

According to The Post, the systems whose designs were breached included those built by major defense contractors including Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and Northrop Grumman.

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  • Tambukikoy

    Americans snooping on their own citizens . The CIA is also penetrating Chinese cyberworld just as good as the Chinese. Pareho mga yan to know its others inner workings.

  • branlem

    pinayaman nila ang mga intsik ngayon sila ang kinakagat at balak ng kainin..sino pa magtitiwala sa mga beho…ganyan sila kalupit at karuming mga tao…linalapa na nila ang ating mga yamang dagat…dapat bumangon ang ating bansa upang tayo ay magkaroon ng lakas pumalag…ibagsak ang mapanakop na mga intsik!!

  • alex ca

    Sila lang din nagpapasok ng mga pest diyan sa Amerika….

  • BIGButo

    China has been stealing technology from the USA for many years even their space program is from the USA stolen many years ago

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