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Report: China Hacked Two Dozen U.S. Weapon Designs

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A launch of the US Army's Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system. THADD and two dozen other weapons designs have been stolen by China according to a classified Pentagon report. Missile Defense Agency Photo

A launch of the US Army’s Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system. THADD and two dozen other weapons designs have been stolen by China according to a classified Pentagon report. Missile Defense Agency Photo

Chinese hackers have obtained designs for more than two dozen U.S. weapon systems — including the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System, the F-35 Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter, the Littoral Combat Ship and electromagnetic railguns — according to a Monday report from The Washington Post.

The detailed list was part of a classified version of a January report from the Pentagon’s Defense Science Board on U.S. cyber posture. The Post obtained the full version of the report that included a detailed list of the compromised designs.

The itemized list gives more weight to the Pentagon’s “Annual Report to Congress: Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2013,” which stated China uses the technical information it obtains to modernize the growing defense sector designed to modernize the People’s Liberation Army weapons programs.

“China utilized its intelligence services and employed other illicit approaches that involve violations of U.S. laws and export controls to obtain key
national security technologies, controlled equipment, and other materials not readily obtainable through commercial means or academia,” read the report to Congress.

While China has a growing military-industrial base, they still fall far behind the U.S. in technology development. A shortcut to intensive research and development is obtaining technical designs and reverse engineer the technology for domestic production. During the Cold War, the Soviet Union copied several U.S. and NATO member country designs and developed domestically developed versions of stolen weapon designs.

The designs listed in the Post story include several key BMD capabilities: the U.S. Army’s Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD),Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) in addition to the Aegis BMD programs. The systems make up the bulk of the U.S. BMD capability and are keystones to future plans for the U.S. to protect against ballistic missile threats.

A 2007 theft of terabytes of data on the F-35 program is often blamed on the speed China was able to develop its stealth Chengdu J-20 aircraft.

The Chinese government has long denied it employs hackers to steal U.S. secrets.
In February, U.S. cyber security firm Mandiant accused China of using a government-backed cyber espionage cell designed to steal U.S. technology secrets.

  • GIMPGIMP

    By putting those plans on a network that is not totally physically isolated from the internet, we gave them away.

    It’s not rocket surgery. No networked computer is entirely secure. If the network isn’t completely isolated from the internet, it’s not secure at all.

    We do a great job of screwing ourselves when it comes to this stuff.

  • RobM1981

    File under: predictable and disappointing.

  • norman west

    the people who were hired to protect our gov’t cyber security should be shot or jailed for 25 years to life including all people who were responsible to keep the security systems updated and checked…..how many more secrets and breaches of our most sensitive data can we stand to take before we are defenseless???? hussein obama r u listening or just taking names for the IRS???

  • YEEHAWMAN

    yet obama is no where to be found, our “leader” hasn’t said a thing. He’s a pus

  • craigpurcell

    We got the kill switch…

  • GaveUpOnTV

    Same thing happened with Clinton’s administration. Dunno the answer. Air gap the servers that hold the classified info? Nah, too simple.

    Our ‘kleptocracy’ has become so endemic, classified information theft isn’t even as big a deal as after the 1996 re-election of Clinton.
    We are a nation in decline. The ‘low info’ voters rule. It’s like Rome.

    • Splatterdbastard

      “It’s like Rome.”
      That’s all that needs to be said about America. Amuse the masses while enslaving them until the Republic falls apart. (Like all Republics eventually do)

  • the truth be told

    this was removed? by who, Obamanites???? “those who are responsible for our cyber security should be executed along with any others who had their hands on these systems. hussein obama r u listening or just taking names for the IRS? I smell an impeachment around the corner…..good luck…..

  • Joe4dBengals

    All those jobs lost to China AND we give them all our hard earned work. Not to mention there have been reports of shoddy work. This practice of having critical weapons and systems built overseas to save money started in the 80’s. Anyone with half a brain could have predicted this outcome. Bring the jobs home. America’s safety matters.

  • http://seoguruatlanta.com/ SEO Atlanta

    We have so many Chinese nationals working in our national labs and defense industries I’m surprised they needed to hack anything. Let’s stop playing games, why are we not engaged in an offensive cyber tactics. We wring our hands about Al Quaeda websites, etc., but why not just attack them and take them down.

    • jayballs

      It’s like handing over your country to the enemy. Why the F do we do this and who’s idea was it? Why doesn’t congress look into or stop this?

  • Democracy

    The enemy is…….always the same……..co…..com……comm……..and so on……

  • Mohammad Atta

    When we had the overwhelming advantage we should have warned China that hacking us would result in serious consequences. Sadly we just sit there and take it. The U.S suffers from battered wife syndrome when it comes to our relationship with China.

  • jayballs

    I’d like to know why we would leave all this info on internet connected hardrives?? With all the money we spend you would think our computers are protected by some technology not even known about yet. This is a sin

  • harishkumar09

    Given the astounding lead that the USA has in the above mentioned stolen
    technologies, I am wondering if the Military Industrial Complex
    deliberately feeds China and Russia information about their systems to
    ensure their survival, by creating competition.

    If you see, US Military Industrial Complex can be shutdown for at least 25 years and US would still have a lead over China.

    The
    only way to stay in business is to give the enemy your technology and
    ask the American Public more money to develop technology to counter the
    technology handed over to the enemy.