China Hacked U.S. Navy Contractor To Obtain Sub Secrets

China Hacked U.S. Navy Contractor To Obtain Sub Secrets

Breaches that could deal a heavy blow to the United States military's bid to dominate the waters near the disputed islands in the South China Sea took place at least twice, in January and February this year, United States officials told The Washington Post.

The data stolen was held on the contractor's unclassified network but all the material together could be considered classified, officials told the Post.

Plans included an anti-ship missile system to be installed on U.S. submarines by 2020.

The breaches occured in January and February and affected a contractor working on submarines and underwater weapons, the Washington Post first reported on Friday. "It would be inappropriate to discuss further details at this time".

The last massive government breaches were reported in 2015 when cyber attacks from Beijing targeted the Office of Personnel Management and Woods Hole Institute, an oceanographic research organization that sometimes partners with the US Navy.

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Navy spokesman Cmdr. Bill Speaks told the Post, "There are measures in place that require companies to notify the government when a "cyber incident" has occurred that has actual or potential adverse effects on their networks that contain controlled unclassified information".

In addition, 624 gigabytes of data related to a secretive project dubbed "Sea Dragon", information on cryptographic systems for submarine radio rooms, details about hundreds of mechanical and software systems, and signals and sensor data.

The news comes days before a summit in Singapore at which US President Donald Trump will meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, who counts Beijing among his allies. Military experts in the USA are concerned with China having developed naval capabilities that might prove to be significant in case of a conflict between both countries.

According the the Post, the Sea Dragon project is part of the Defense Department's efforts to adapt existing technologies to new applications.

Military experts said the breach signaled that China could be working to complicate the Navy's ability to defend US allies in Asia amid a conflict with Beijing in the region.

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