China hacked sensitive US Navy warfare plans

Washington, June 9: A joint Investigation is on after Chinese government hackers have compromised the computers of a US Navy contractor, stealing massive amounts of highly sensitive data related to undersea warfare including secret plans to develop a supersonic anti-ship missile for use on U.S. submarines by 2020.

The breach is part of China’s  effort to blunt the US advantage in military technology and become the preeminent power in East Asia.

The hackers in January and Febrary targeted a contractor who works for the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, a military organization headquartered in Newport, Rhode Island’s, that conducts research and development for submarines and underwater weaponry.

As per sources, about 614 gigabytes of material relating to a closely held project known as Sea Dragon, as well as signals and sensor data, submarine radio room information relating to cryptographic systems, and the Navy submarine development unit’s electronic warfare library were stolen.

The Navy is leading the investigation into the breach with the assistance of the FBI, US officials said on Friday.

Navy spokesman Commander Bill Speaks said: “There are measures in place that require companies to notify the government when a ‘cyber incident’ has occurred that has actual or potential adverse effects on their networks that contain controlled unclassified information.”

Speaks added that “it would be inappropriate to discuss further details at this time.”

On Friday, the Pentagon Inspector General’s Office said Defence Secretary Jim Mattis had asked it to review the contractor cybersecurity issues.


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