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Pentagon Still Confident In Weapons After China Design Hack

The U.S. Marine Corps version of the F-35 Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter. A Pentagon report alleges F-35 designs were among those stolen by China in a cyber espionage scheme. US Navy Photo

The U.S. Marine Corps version of the F-35 Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter. A Pentagon report alleges F-35 designs were among those stolen by China in a cyber espionage scheme. US Navy Photo

The Pentagon attempted to allay fears Tuesday it had lost an edge in technology development following a Monday revelation China had hacked more than two dozen weapons programs from the U.S.

“Suggestions that cyber intrusions have somehow led to the erosion of our capabilities or technological edge are incorrect,” Pentagon spokesman George Little said in a Tuesday statement.
“We maintain confidence in our weapons platforms. The Department of Defense takes the threat of cyber espionage and cyber security very seriously, which is why we have taken a number of steps to increase funding to strengthen our capabilities, harden our networks, and work with the defense industrial base to achieve greater visibility into the threats our industrial partners are facing.”

On Monday, The Washington Post published a classified addendum to of a January report from the Pentagon’s Defense Science Board on U.S. cyber posture. The report named several weapon systems — including the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System, the F-35 Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter, the Littoral Combat Ship, V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, electromagnetic railguns and the U.S. Army’s Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) and Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) — that may have had designs stolen.

A Pentagon report to Congress issued earlier this year blamed China for an extensive espionage campaign to give the nation’s growing defense industry a leg up in technology development.

“It is a key concern that we have,” said White House spokesman Jay Carney in a Tuesday briefing with reporters. “ It is an issue that we raise at every level in our meetings with our Chinese counterparts and I’m sure will be a topic of discussion when the President meets with President Xi [Jinping] in California in early June. It was certainly a topic of conversation when National Security Advisor [Tom] Donilon was having meetings in China, from which he is just returning now.”

China has repeatedly denied allegations of mounting cyber espionage campaigns.

  • dp

    Who is watching the fort? Gomer Pile or Forrest Gump. If there was ever any doubt about America being behind the eight ball in intelligence, the past three administrations
    have dispelled the rumors for all those inside and beyond our borders who might ask the question.


    The most powerful weapon the US Military has ever had is the Individual Soldier, Sailor, Airman and Marine!

    • TJ Anderson

      Tell China that. They have vast superiority in numbers of soldiers and they only respect our edge in technology to equalize our disadvantage in numbers. Doubt that? Look at what poorly armed Chinese peasant soldiers did to our forces in Korea in 1950. They outflanked us and overwhelmed us.

  • Robert Greene

    Sure glad the administration is getting right on this. After they explain to the Chinese how unfair it is to steal our stuff, especially with sequestration and all, the ChiComs are going to feel awful. Oh, yes they will.

    Question: Are there any adults left in D.C.?

  • the great kazoo

    The security of these designs is so incredibly sloppy, that one has to wonder if we are not feeding them flawed information. Otherwise, we have some network engineers that need a serious butt woopin.

  • Steven L

    Why aren’t these data systems isolated from external intrusions?

  • Sal befor

    Anonymously but yet unmistakeable send a message to China by disrupting or intruding and vandalizing their systems.

  • TJ Anderson

    We have a Bolshevik President and we’re surprised that we have China compromising our technology?

    • Osamas Pajamas

      Fascist, more like — but the two are joined-at-the-hip, in any case, with their common collectivist / statist root.

    • eric

      I thought Obama was weak? How can he be weak one day and a dictator the next? What is it that makes him Stalin like? Certainly not exec orders as he has used less than many Presidents including Bush and far less than Reagan. Obama has his faults but a dictator is not one of them. In fact, he should have side stepped our do nothing but obstruct Congress years ago. I’m not defending all of his policies but to base opinion on hate rather than facts serves no purpose other than to rally a base who would never vote Democrat anyway.

  • Osamas Pajamas

    I often consult the US Patent Office website and one day quite a few years ago, I called USPTO to complain about how slow the website was. The young lady who answered my call replied that the mainland Chinese appeared to bunch-up their downloads on particular days — and that “they steal everything in sight.” Naturally, I’d love to slam the door in their faces but I need access for my job. And if they couldn’t hijack info directly from PRC, there are enough PRC agents here in the States to steal stuff and transmit it by indirect means. The free and open society is vulnerable to commercial thieves and the military thugs of dangerous dictatorships.

  • tyJjaa

    The answer is simple. Put a dollar amount on what they’ve stolen and just deduct it from what we owe them. If they object, TS.

  • smathews

    What about Drone fighter planes. One third of the cost and no loss of life if it is shot down. You could build 10 to 1 of these drones compared to one F-22.

  • RedStatePatriot

    I always love the stories about someone hacking military “secret” or “classified” information. who writes these stupid articles? For anyone that does not know its impossible to “hack” classified information…. all classified information is stored in clean rooms with no external wiring to any server. Classified information is not capable of being hacked for the simple reason that it is not connected in anyway to the internet. I don’t know what information was hacked but absolutly none of it was in anyway classified. At the most they got bid information, or low level program memos and such. These stories are just a joke to anyone that ever worked in the defense industry and accessed clasified information.

    • joe

      I hope that’s the case. Where can I learn more about this?