CNSNews l Chinese Hackers Stole Plans for America's New Joint Strike Fighter Plane, Says Investigations Subcommittee Chair

April 26, 2012 § 9 Comments

Intruders from China hacked into computers and stole the blueprints for America’s new joint strike fighter planes, the F-35 and F-22, according to the chairman of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations and Management.

Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) made the statement during a Tuesday hearing on cyber security.

“I’ve been dealing with this issue for a long time,” McCaul said. “But I think it’s important that the American people, who most of them don’t understand this issue, have a better idea of what–what is at risk. You know when I look at the theft of intellectual property to the tune of $1 trillion, that’s a serious economic issue for the United States.

“When I look at countries like China, who have stolen our Joint Strike Fighters, F-35 and F-22’s, stolen those blueprints so they can manufacture those planes and then guard against those planes,” he said.

China has created citizen hacker groups engaged in cyber espionage, established cyber war military units and laced the U.S. infrastructure with logic bombs, he said.

It is not the only government to do so, he added.

“(M)ake no mistake, America’ is under attack by digital bombs,” McCaul said. “There are several things the American public should understand about these attacks. They are real, stealth and persistent and can devastate our nation.

“They occur at the speed of light. They are global and could come from anywhere on the earth. They penetrate traditional defenses,” he continued.

“So who is conducting these attacks and why? An October of 2011 report to Congress on foreign economic collection and industrial espionage states it is part of China and Russia’s national policy to identify and steal sensitive technology, which they need for their development,” McCaul said.

McCaul said Russia has been almost as active as China in trying to steal U.S. defense secrets.

“When you look at China and Russia who have hacked into every federal agency in the federal government including the Pentagon,” McCaul said. “You know we talk about the analogy agents of a foreign power call it paper files walking out with classified or non-classified information, it would be all over the papers. But yet in the virtual world, that’s happening. And no one seems to know or really pay attention to it. And then the final piece, you know there’s the espionage, the stealing of military secrets, satellite technology, rocket technology out of NASA, it’s prevalent. It’s everywhere.”

The Texas Republican, a former federal prosecutor, re-iterated his comments Wednesday on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal” program.

Larry Wortzel, a member of the United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission, told the House Foreign Affairs Committee at a March 28, hearing that a report released by the commission last month had concluded that the People’s Liberation Army of China has made cyber attacks a “cornerstone” of its operations.

“At the same time, the report concludes, during peacetime, computer network exploitation has likely become a cornerstone of PLA and civilian intelligence collection operations supporting national military and civilian strategic goals,” Wortzel said.

“The Commission report tells us that China’s computer network exploitation activities to support espionage opened rich veins of information that was previously inaccessible or could only be mined in small amounts with controlled human intelligence operations,” Wortzel said.

The commission’s 2009 Annual Report to Congress, citing a Wall Street Journal article, discussed “intruders, probably operating from China, that exfiltrated ‘several terabytes of data related to design and electronics systems’ of the F-35 Lightning II,” one of the most advanced fighter planes under development.

In addition, the report noted, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Northrop Grumman Corporation, and British Aerospace and Engineering reportedly all have experienced penetrations from hackers based in China in the past three years.

By Christopher Goins and Pete Winn

April 25, 2012

CNSNews l Chinese Hackers Stole Plans for America’s New Joint Strike Fighter Plane, Says Investigations Subcommittee Chair


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§ 9 Responses to CNSNews l Chinese Hackers Stole Plans for America's New Joint Strike Fighter Plane, Says Investigations Subcommittee Chair

  • Cheeshead says:

    Yeah let us keep importing from them and selling them our debt. That’s the ticket.

  • Key Barnes says:

    It’s time that schmucks in our government be prosecuted for treason. There is more to this story than the Chinese just hacking in.

  • gcolgroves says:

    This also has to do with justifying the DoD’s Cyber Security to have access top everyones internet use.

    This will be the next step in this game.

    The DoD is about to crack open the door to thier new spy agency and it is no mistake that we are hearing of a lot of reports about this kind of stuff.

    A new day and a new set of federal crimes erupting.

    BTW today we just went into debt by another $6 billion. Whats worse?

  • Annie says:

    So in other words, the theft was via the computer system controlled by the feds, not via Lockheed, et al.

    Folks, perhaps you’re unaware of the fact that Lockhee’d F-35 could have been experiences booming sales but for one thing: our Administration and their constant blocking of various approvals, etc. (putting it in very basic terms). The F-35 was tested quite some time ago, passed with “flying” colors.

    Had our government not hindred the progress of a business enterprise, that F-35 data probably would have been archived or at least not so readily accessed.

    This government has known for at least two years about foreign hacking, but they seem to have little interest in protecting something as priceless as our people’s inventions that have been built for OUR SECURITY and the security of friends in other countries.

    By the way, please, no slashes at Lockheed and the others mentioned. They’re dedicated to defense. OUR PEOPLE who work at Lockheed and Grumman, here in the U.S., have no need to steal others’ ideas. They’re inventive on their own!!!

    • A Patriot says:

      These systems are too complicated to not hire contractors.

      So they have to be there. Corps are particularly good at security.

  • Hap Harris says:

    If the Chinese did [in fact] steal these plans by Hacking the Internet, they deserve congratulations-! If our Pentagon is so [hot-damn] stupid as to put such plans on the Internet it proves a level of incompetence beyond the “Pale”. There is far more to this story than meets the eye.

  • gcol says:

    You are dead on!

    This story is more to do with the $100’s of billions we were conned into spending over the years to protect our data and Wikileaks and thier partner sites are busier than ever.

    Perhaps the weak link can be found within the 850,000 Top Secrete Clearance holders that take advantage of taxpayers every day.

  • RhettButler says:

    If we know they are doing it, why don’t we give them disinformation?

  • jong says:

    First of all we need to have “stand alone” computers that have no lines in or out along being in a dead room. That is why they can never penetrate NSA they have no lines in or out connected with the main computers that are still the best in the world bar none. Cray 3B liquid cooled computers that are being updated every day. You have to physically work the computers at the site at Meade.

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