And here you thought that China was only interested in the latest iPhone design and Amanda Bynes’ selfies. The Washington Post reported yesterday that more than two dozen military systems critical to the defense of forward assets have had their designs stolen in hacking attempts tracked back to China:
Designs for many of the nation’s most sensitive advanced weapons systems have been compromised by Chinese hackers, according to a report prepared for the Pentagon and to officials from government and the defense industry.
Among more than two dozen major weapons systems whose designs were breached were programs critical to U.S. missile defenses and combat aircraft and ships, according to a previously undisclosed section of a confidential report prepared for Pentagon leaders by the Defense Science Board.
Not so coincidentally, those would be the same systems that the US Navy would need in in the Pacific Rim if a conflict broke out. The Post’s Ellen Nakashima connects a couple of dots between this leak and recent warnings from the Obama administration:
The significance and extent of the targets help explain why the Obama administration has escalated its warnings to the Chinese government to stop what Washington sees as rampant cybertheft.
In January, the advisory panel warned in the public version of its report that the Pentagon is unprepared to counter a full-scale cyber-conflict. The list of compromised weapons designs is contained in a confidential version, and it was provided to The Washington Post.
You know what that means … Eric Holder will soon be signing a search warrant naming Nakashima as a co-conspirator in espionage, that’s what. As long as it distracts from China’s actual espionage, which was happening under the noses of the White House while claiming in court that Fox News’ James Rosen was a national-security and flight threat, they won’t even mind if the Post finds out about the warrant.
CBS News reported on the revelations this morning:
There are new allegations of a serious breach of American military secrets in a confidential report, first obtained by the Washington Post, which says Chinese cyber spies gained access to the designs for dozens of major U.S. weapons systems.
CBS News national security correspondent David Martin reported on “CBS This Morning” that the report, put together by the Defense Science Board for Pentagon leaders, includes a veritable who’s who of the weapons that will be involved in President Barack Obama’s so-called “Pacific pivot.” The pivot, Martin explained, is where you take the weight of the U.S. military away from the wars of the last decade and move them into the Pacific Ocean where the main competitor is China.
The report says the Chinese hackers have gained access to data on a number of weapons systems, including three missile defense systems, including one high-altitude system, one low-altitude defense system and a ship-based defense system.
Other combat aircraft and ships’ designs were also compromised, including the Littoral combat ship, a new Navy vessel just deployed to Singapore, the Marines’ Osprey aircraft, which takes off like a helicopter and flies like an airplane and was deployed recently to Japan, and the Navy’s F-18 jet fighter, the military branch’s primary carrier aircraft.
Basically, we just have to assume that China knows all it needs to know to defend against these systems. We’d better have that same knowledge, too, because China will replicate these systems and move them against us in order to push us out of the Pacific Rim and claim dominance in that region. Hacking is a lot less expensive than actual R&D, and apparently relatively risk-free to boot.