In more news concerning hacking, this time a group based in China was able to access the designs of the secret and advanced weapons systems of the U.S. and other countries according to a report by the U.S. Department of Defense. The top secret report was prepared by the Defense Science Board, which is a senior advisory group of government and civilian experts.
The report does not outright accuse hackers of stealing the designs, but it does state that hackers gained access to the designs of more than two dozen systems.
Hacking of U.S. government systems was mentioned in a public report released in January by a Dept. of Defense advisory panel. However, the section of the report containing the list of breached weapons system was not made public until Tuesday, as reported by The Washington Post. An earlier version of the report also warned that the Pentagon is not fully equipped or prepared to counter a full-scale cyber-conflict.
Designs for combat aircraft and ships were compromised for U.S. and missile defenses important for Europe, Asia and the Gulf. Some of the designs that Chinese hackers gained access to include the Navy’s Aegis ballistic missile defense systems, the V-22 Osprey, the F/A-18 fighter jet, advanced Patriot missile system, the Black Hawk helicopter and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
Timing of the news
What is important here is the timing of the report, which comes just a month before President Obama meets his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in California.
Accusations made against Chinese hackers:
The report also follows similar accusations made against Chinese hackers by the Australian media, alleging them of stealing blueprints for Australian’s new spy headquarters.
Answering questions about the Australian report, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said, “China pays high attention to the cyber security issue and is firmly opposed to all forms of hacker attacks.”
Whenever such accusations are made, the Chinese government have always made it clear that it does not indulge in any kind of cyber-espionage against the U.S. In fact, Chinese government spokesmen complain that China is under threat of cyber attacks from the U.S.