Report: Hackers Access Weapons Designs

Thursday, May 30, 2013 @ 06:05 PM gHale

Chinese hackers gained access to the designs of some of the U.S.’s advanced weapons systems, according to some new government reports.

The compromised weapons designs include, among others, 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, according to a report prepared for the Defense Department and government and defense industry officials.

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The Defense Science Board, a senior advisory group of government and civilian experts prepared the report. It does not accuse the Chinese of stealing the designs but it does say the designs of more than two dozen systems suffered compromise, according to an account in The Washington Post.

The report comes a month before President Obama will meet with visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping in California. It also coincides with reports in the Australian media Chinese hackers stole blueprints for Australian’s new spy headquarters.

A breach of U.S. systems was in a public report issued by the advisory panel in January, but the section of the report listing the compromised weapons system remained classified until Tuesday. The public version had warned the Pentagon remains unprepared to counter a full-scale cyber conflict.

Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said the Pentagon maintains “full confidence” in its weapon 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,” Little said. “Suggestions that cyber intrusions have somehow led to the erosion of our capabilities or technological edge are incorrect.”

The Chinese government said it does not conduct cyber espionage on U.S. agencies or companies, and government spokesmen often complain that Beijing is a target of U.S. cyber attacks, the Post reported.

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