China denies claims it hacked into Pentagon computers

The $300 billion (£206bn) jet is being developed by Lockheed Martin and will be bought by eight other countries, including the UK.

However, the Wall Street Journal reported that hackers had broken into the project and siphoned off “several terabytes of data related to design and electronics systems”.

By Malcolm Moore in Shanghai
Telegraph (UK)

The leak could make it easier to defend against the plane, also known as the F35 Lightning II. However, the spies could not access the most sensitive material, which is kept on computers that are not connected to the internet.

F-35 Lightning II

Former US officials said the attacks appear to have originated in China, but there is scant concrete evidence because it is easy to mask identities online.

Chinese officials reacted angrily to the accusation, and a spokesman for the foreign ministry said: “China has not changed its stance on hacking. China has always been against hacking and we have cracked down very hard on hacking. This is not a Chinese phenomenon. It happens everywhere in the world.”

Attacks on the Pentagon are common, but are said to have escalated dramatically in the past six months, and coincide with growing speculation about China’s role in cyber espionage.

A report issued by the Pentagon last month said the Chinese military has made “steady progress” in its online warfare capabilities, a key field in which China can compete with the US.

The Chinese Embassy in Washington called the report “a product of the Cold War mentality” and said accusations of cyber crime were being spread to inflame opinion against China.

At the end of last month, researchers at several universities discovered the existence of GhostNet, a vast internet espionage network that was siphoning information from sensitive computers in 103 countries. One third of its targets were based in embassies, news media and NGOs. The researchers said the majority of GhostNet’s attacks originated from within China but stopped short of accusing Beijing of responsibility.

art.hacker1.cnn.jpg 

The security of the Joint Strike Fighter may have been breached before, according to a Pentagon report in 2008. The report said that “the advanced aviation and weapons technology for the JSF programme may have been compromised” because the Defence Department had not kept a close enough eye on the 1,200 contractors involved in the mammoth process. At the time, BAE Systems, the UK arms company, was named as one contractor that might have allowed details to leak. BAE denied that any information on the jet had been compromised.

The UK intends to use the Joint Strike Fighter as a replacement for the Harrier jump jet. More than 2,400 jets will be built in total.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: