Report Lists U.S. Weapons System Designs Hit by Chinese Cyber Spies
A confidential report prepared for the Pentagon says the designs of more than two dozen major weapons systems that are crucial to U.S. security have been compromised by Chinese hackers.
The report by the Defense Science Board, a top-level advisory group comprised of leading government figures, did not specifically accuse the Chinese of stealing the designs, but industry experts believe the intrusions were part of a growing campaign of espionage against U.S. defense contractors and government agencies.
The full list of weapons defense systems was obtained and published by the Washington Post on Tuesday.
It is feared the breaches have given China access to advanced technology that would undoubtedly help in its development of weapons systems, thereby weakening future U.S. battlefield advantage.
President Obama is expected to discuss the cyber spying issue when he meets with the Chinese President Xi Jinping next month in California.
The Obama administration has already ramped up its warnings to the Chinese government over cyber theft.
The issue forms the focus of IDGA’S Cyber Security and Network Defense summit next month.
Among those affected were designs for the latest Patriot missile system (PAC-3) the Army’s Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) which is a system for shooting down ballistic missiles and the Navy’s Aegis ballistic-missile defense system.
Even the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which with a projected cost of about $1.4 trillion is the Pentagon’s most expensive program ever, did not go untouched.
The report, titled "Resilient Military Systems and the Advanced Cyber Threat," also lists the F/A-18 fighter jet, the V-22 Osprey, the Black Hawk helicopter and the Navy’s new Littoral Combat Ship.
The revelation comes after a Pentagon report for Congress stated earlier this month that China’s cyber activity is a major tool in its push for military development.
In addition a classified National Intelligence Estimate on cyber-espionage concluded that China was by far the worst offender in stealing intellectual property from U.S. companies.
The Chinese government has repeatedly denied accusations of cyber espionage and has said China has been a victim of American intrusions.
In an email to the Washington Post, a Pentagon spokesman wrote: "The Department of Defense has growing concerns about the global threat to economic and national security from persistent cyber-intrusions aimed at the theft of intellectual property, trade secrets and commercial data, which threatens the competitive edge of U.S. businesses like those in the Defense Industrial Base."
Referring to the persistent hacking attempts made at U.S. defense contractors, one senior military official said: "In many cases, they don’t know they’ve been hacked until the FBI comes knocking on their door. This is billions of dollars of combat advantage for China. They’ve just saved themselves 25 years of research and development. It’s nuts."
For full details of IDGA’S Cyber Security and Network Defense summit go to www.cyberwarfareevent.com
The full list of weapons systems and technologies in the Defense Science Board report is below.
Terminal High Altitude Area Defense
Patriot Advanced Capability-3
Extended Area Protection and Survivability System (EAPS)
Advanced Harpoon Weapon Control System
Long-term Mine Reconnaissance System
Navy antenna mechanisms
Global Freight Management System
Micro Air Vehicle
Brigade Combat Team Modernization
Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System
USMC Tracked Combat Vehicles
Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T)
T700 Family of Engines
Full Authority Digital Engine Controller (FADEC)
UH-60 Black Hawk
AMRAAM (AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile)
Affordable Weapons System
Littoral Combat Ship
Navy Standard Missile (SM-2,3,6)
F/A and EA-18
Mk54 Light Weight Torpedo
UAV video system
Specific Emitter identification
Dual Use Avionics
Fuze/Munitions safety and development
Electronic Intelligence Processing
Tactical Data Links
Advanced Signal Processing Technologies for Radars
Nanostructured Metal Matrix Composite for Light Weight Ballistic Armor
Vision-aided Urban Navigation & Collision Avoidance for Class I Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAV)
Space Surveillance Telescope
IR Search and Track systems
Electronic Warfare systems
Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch
Side Scan sonar
Mode 5 IFF
Export Control, ITAR, Distribution Statement B,C,D Technical Information
CAD drawings, 3D models, schematics
Vendor/supply chain data
PII (email addresses, SSN, credit card numbers, passwords, etc.)
Attendee lists for program reviews and meetings