Chinese hackers steal highly-sensitive 'undersea warfare' data from US Navy
Chinese government hackers have stolen a massive cache of highly sensitive data related to undersea warfare from a US Navy contractor, including secret plans to develop a new submarine-launched anti-ship missile. Around 614GB of material was taken in the breaches that occurred in January and February. It had secret plans to develop a supersonic anti-ship missile for use on US submarines by 2020.
The material included information related to a secretive project "Sea Dragon" as well as signals and sensor data, submarine radio room information relating to cryptographic systems. The Washington Post said the breach is part of China's long-running effort to blunt the US military technology advantage. The news comes as the Trump administration is seeking to secure Beijing's support in persuading North Korea to denuclearize.
Pentagon inspector general's office said that Defense Secretary Jim Mattis had asked it to review contractor cybersecurity issues. The Navy is leading the investigation into the breach with the help of the FBI, officials said. The Pentagon last month pulled its invitation for China to join maritime exercises in the Pacific because of Beijing's "continued militarization" of the South China Sea.
Chinese hackers have for years targeted the US military to steal information and the Pentagon says they have previously swiped crucial data on the new F-35 stealth fighter, the advanced Patriot PAC-3 missile system, and other highly sensitive projects.