Chinese Hackers Infiltrate Major U.S. Defense Systems

by
Owen Poindexter
Chinese hackers have compromised American weapons systems designs, according to a report in the Washington Post. The list of hacked weapons systems is long and varied. It includes fighter jets, laser weapons and missile defense systems.

china, weapons, military, systems, report, weapons systems, u.s.
China has hacked major U.S. military defense systems, according to a Washington Post report. PHOTO: Public Domain
 
Chinese hackers have compromised American weapons systems designs, according to a report in the Washington Post. The list of hacked weapons systems is long and varied. It includes fighter jets, laser weapons and missile defense systems. Adding intrigue to the story is that President Obama will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping next week in California.
 
White House spokesperson Jay Carney said he was "sure [the weapons systems hacking] will be a topic of discussion," when the leaders of the world's two most powerful countries meet.
 
Among the military designs that were hacked were those of the F/A 18 fighter jet, V-22 Osprey, F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters and the Navy’s new Littoral Combat Ship which guards America's coasts. The list also includes the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), a missile defense system.
 
National Security Adviser Tom Donilon spoke about China's aggressive hacking of sensitive American intelligence in a speech in March:

"Specifically with respect to the issue of cyber-enabled theft, we seek three things from the Chinese side," Donilon said. "First, we need a recognition of the urgency and scope of this problem and the risk it poses—to international trade, to the reputation of Chinese industry and to our overall relations. Second, Beijing should take serious steps to investigate and put a stop to these activities. Finally, we need China to engage with us in a constructive direct dialogue to establish acceptable norms of behavior in cyberspace."

This latest revelation shows that China is willing to push as hard as it can on hacking America, including its most sensitive military designs. The question is now, how hard will America push back against the growing giant with whom its economy is inextricably tied.

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