Chinese hackers succeeded in gaining access to the designs of over 24 major weapons systems of the U.S. military said a report Monday. At the same time, media in Australia reported that Chinese hackers stole blueprints for the new espionage headquarters in Australia.
Citing a Defense Department report prepared by the Defense Science Board, sources said the designs that were compromised included ships and combat aircraft, along with missile defenses vital for Asia, Europe and the Gulf.
Amongst the different weapons in the report were the Aegis ballistic missile system of the Navy, the Patriot missile system, the V-22 Osprey, the FA-18 fighter jet, the Black Hawk, and the F-35 Strike Fighter.
The time or extent of the thefts online was not specified in the report. There was no mention in the report if the attacks involved the computer networks of contractors, subcontractors or the U.S. government.
However, what the Chinese hackers obtained gives them knowledge that they could exploit during a conflict for example, the ability to cut of communications and corrupt important data. The information could also help to speed China’s own defense technology development.
In a report this month to Congress, the Pentagon stated that China used and continues to use espionage as a method of modernizing its own military and its computer hacking was a concern taken very seriously.
The report said the government of the U.S. had been targeted by what appeared to be hacking that was directly attributable to the military and government of China.
A report from Australia said hackers that were linked back to China, stole the blueprints for the ASIO or Australia Security Intelligence Organization headquarters, which is the spy agency for the country. The attack was through the computer system of one of the construction contractors that helped build the structure.