WASHINGTON/CANBERRA, May 27 (Reuters) - Designs for more than two dozen major U.S. weapons systems have been compromised by Chinese hackers, a U.S report said on Monday, as a news report in Australia said Chinese hackers had stolen the blueprints for Australia's new spy headquarters.
Citing a report prepared for the Defense Department by the Defense Science Board, the Washington Post reported that compromised U.S. designs included combat aircraft and ships, as well as missile defenses vital for Europe, Asia and the Gulf.
Among the weapons listed in the report were the advanced Patriot missile system, the Navy's Aegis ballistic missile defense systems, the F/A-18 fighter jet, the V-22 Osprey, the Black Hawk helicopter and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
The report did not specify the extent or time of the cyber-thefts or indicate if they involved computer networks of the U.S. government, contractors or subcontractors.
But the espionage would give China knowledge that could be exploited in a conflict, such as knocking out communications and corrupting data, the Post said. It also could speed Beijing's development of Chinese defense technology.
In a report to Congress earlier this month, the Pentagon said China was using espionage to modernize its military and that its hacking was a serious concern. It said the U.S. government had been the target of hacking that appeared to be "attributable directly to the Chinese government and military." China dismissed the report as groundless.
China has dismissed as groundless both the Pentagon report and a February report by the U.S. computer security company Mandiant, which said a secretive Chinese military unit was probably behind a series of hacking attacks targeting the United States that had stolen data from 100 companies.
So yeah, Chinese hacking the US threads are nothing new. I found a thread from 2009 reporting on data from the F-35 being hacked from China. It just raises the question of why is sensitive military data/plans being placed on systems that are that easily compromised? Instead we accuse China and they say nope nothing to see here. There's obviously nothing the US government can actually do to China so why not just remove the problem of sensitive materials in digital form?