China is considered the major cyber weapons threat to U.S. weapons systems. Over the past decade, Chinese military hackers have penetrated major defense contractors involved in cutting edge weapons systems, including the fifth generation F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
Security analysts say that by gaining access to F-35 technology secrets, China might be able to conduct information-based attacks in the future that could disrupt the aircraft’s sophisticated electronics, rendering the jet either ineffective in combat or, more likely, vulnerable to increasingly sophisticated Chinese air defenses.
Chinese military writings have also identified U.S. command and control networks as vulnerable to disruption by cyber strikes and major targets for cyber warfare attacks.
U.S. weapons systems rely heavily on electronic networks for joint war fighting. The networking has taken place “without a sufficient appreciation of the cyber security threat environments currently facing such systems,” the House report says.