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Lockheed and DoD say no classified data was stolen

Yesterday, DailyTech reported that files relating to the F-35 Lightning II jet fighter had allegedly been compromised by cyberspies. The alleged compromise of data is said to have occurred on the computer systems of a sub-contractor on the project and could have been compromised as early as 2007.

According to Reuters, the Pentagon and Lockheed Martin Corp discounted the reports made yesterday by the Wall Street Journal that cyberspies had been able to infiltrate and steal secrets of the aircraft.

DoD spokesman Bryan Whitman said, "I'm not aware of any specific concerns." Whitman made the statement after the Wall Street Journal report alleged that terabytes of data on the F-35's design and electronics had been stolen. The alleged cyber intrusion of the computer systems in question reportedly originated from Chinese IP addresses.

Reuters reports that the intrusions into the protected computer systems and the data stolen could make it easier for enemies to defend against the F-35's capabilities. The U.S. isn’t the only government looking to purchase the aircraft for its military. Other investors in the project include Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, Canada, Australia, Denmark, and Norway. Israel is also said to be considering purchasing the jet.

The hallmark of the F-35 is its radar-evading design that makes the plane difficult to see by enemy radar. Lockheed Martin, the primary contractor on the project said, "We actually believe the Wall Street Journal was incorrect in its representation of successful cyber attacks on the F-35 program."

Lockheed Martin CFO Bruce Tanner said, "I've not heard of that, and to our knowledge there's never been any classified information breach." Tanner did acknowledge that attempted intrusions into Lockheed Martin computer systems were continuous and that there are stringent protections in place to defend against these attacks.

This is not the first time allegations of stolen data nave plagued the F-35 project. Last October, an internal Pentagon agency withdrew a complaint that alleged sensitive information relating to the F-35 had been breached by cyberspies. The inspector general's office said that it was unable to provide sufficient appropriate evidence to support the report it had filed claiming data had been breached.

Such cyber attacks are certain to continue occurring as foreign governments try to glean secrets about ongoing U.S. military projects. The Defense Science Board, and advisory panel to the DoD, said, "[The DoD] is not yet organized, trained, equipped or in many cases adequately focused on threats to cyberspace-enabled operations."

A Chinese embassy spokesperson didn’t return calls for comment on the alleged Chinese infiltration of the computer systems reports Reuters.

Once the project is complete, the U.S. military will purchase 2,334 of the F-35 aircraft for the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps.

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Critical Reading Skills
By monitorjbl on 4/22/2009 10:47:45 AM , Rating: 4
The hallmark of the F-35 is its radar-evading design that makes the plane difficult to see by enemy radar.

Well I'VE got them, but I appreciate the thought for those that don't.

RE: Critical Reading Skills
By MrPoletski on 4/22/2009 11:26:37 AM , Rating: 5
bah, advancements in radar resolution will outstrip botht he f22 and f35's stealth capabilities.

All they do is reduce their radar cross section to below the resolving power of current radar systems - hence they are indistiguishable from noise. New radar technology continually improves the resolving power, however, eventually this will make these jets visible from further and further away.

I'm not sure about the Russian plasma based stealth technology though, that's interesting stuff...

RE: Critical Reading Skills
By Amiga500 on 4/22/2009 1:56:35 PM , Rating: 3
I'm not sure why you got downrated.

The post is 100% factually accurate.

Perhaps the downraters could do with reading up on the subject or talking to someone from LockMart or similar.

RE: Critical Reading Skills
By jarman on 4/22/2009 10:37:18 PM , Rating: 2
What you're referring to is a hell of a lot more complicated than just stacking more and more processing power on top of even the most efficient of algorithms on the track filters.

The expenditure of money and time on the R&D, manufacturing, and especially integration (not including software development) of the systems that are capable of achieving what you are describing, is currently prohibitive for even the largest of economies (possibly even the U.S. at this point).

That's a pretty powerful justification for moving forward with the development of these aircraft, if you ask me.

RE: Critical Reading Skills
By Amiga500 on 4/23/2009 3:23:38 AM , Rating: 2
Errr, actually its not really.

It is ideally suited to parallelisation - as long as the memory architecture is right. Data handling is critical.

STAP algorithms on the right processors can give a speed up factor of 1.9x for 2 threads... Done badly it can give a speed up of just 2.4x for 8 threads! That is old *PUBLIC* work - I dunno what the factors are now for modern proprietary stuff.

As we all know, the Russians and Chinese can code and can do heavy maths. It would be verging on arrogant to assume they don't have a strong handle on this already.

RE: Critical Reading Skills
By jarman on 4/23/2009 3:43:01 PM , Rating: 2
I think that we're in violent agreement that the increasing processing power and speed at which the algorithms resolve credible tracks will continue to improve.

But parallelism/threading the algorithms and increasing processing speed by any factor you want will only do so much for your systems ability to detect, track, and discriminate. There are significant physical barriers that still have to be overcome, especially when considering the attenuation of the frequencies that you're able to radiate on.

Also, you'll lose additional degrees of freedom with any levied requirements to shape beams, code/chirp the pulse, and coherently integrate the returns that are actually re-radiated back to the array in the first place.

I never said that "peer" adversaries couldn't pull it off. What I did say is that the system would be very expensive and very likely inflexible in its implementation on mobile platforms.

RE: Critical Reading Skills
By MrPoletski on 4/24/2009 7:10:07 AM , Rating: 2
What you're referring to is a hell of a lot more complicated than just stacking more and more processing power on top of even the most efficient of algorithms on the track filters.

Indeed it is, I never suggested it's a case of stacking more processing algorithms or whatever. In fact I would think it is more a case of using shorter wavelength RADAR but increasing the power considerably.

You can't use tracking algorithms to look at data that does not exist. when the radar reflections are below your noise floor the data is essentially destroyed.

RE: Critical Reading Skills
By ikkeman2 on 4/23/2009 11:15:57 AM , Rating: 2
al you're saying is true - but less so for the F22/F35 than any other competitor. So while "they" may be able to see the raptor from 50 miles away, we'll be able to target theirs from 150 miles away.

and the power required to achieve the resolution to see these birds (the F-22 much more so than the F-35) means the radar becomes a bigger target too...

Download 1TB data? no way!
By Roy2001 on 4/22/2009 12:05:40 PM , Rating: 4
Download 1TB data? no way!

Unless they have no protection at all, it is impossible that someone download 1TB data and no one aware that. NO WAY!

RE: Download 1TB data? no way!
By elanmike on 4/22/2009 12:46:48 PM , Rating: 5
It was multiple TB's. How could they miss that. I would have to agree that this makes the story suspicious.

RE: Download 1TB data? no way!
By Oregonian2 on 4/22/2009 1:36:50 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe they just thought it was PRON being downloaded off of their server and so they didn't notice an additional amount of traffic that small.

RE: Download 1TB data? no way!
By michael67 on 4/22/2009 2:12:19 PM , Rating: 1
I download every month half a terabyte the RIAA haven't noticed me yet eider :P

RE: Download 1TB data? no way!
By jay401 on 4/23/2009 8:43:41 AM , Rating: 2
Apples:Oranges. You're not downloading half a terrabyte a month from an RIAA server. Why is your comment rated a 4 when it's not applicable as a comparison?

RE: Download 1TB data? no way!
By michael67 on 4/23/2009 12:47:06 PM , Rating: 1
Properly because a lot of people saw the fun of it, as it was intended :p

RE: Download 1TB data? no way!
By afkrotch on 4/22/2009 3:52:44 PM , Rating: 2
It's impossible to break into the red side of the DoD's network without physical access. Breaking into the black side doesn't get much, in the way of red side data. You'd have to sniff the network for a very long time, then spend who knows how long to piece together the packets, then decrypt the packets, then slap all the data back together.

It'd be like trying to put together one shredded piece of paper, from a landfill full of shredded paper. Not to mention the encryption put onto the paper.

I'd say if they did get 1 TB of data off the black side, it'd take them over 50 years to piece it all together, not to mention decrypting it. By then we'd have anti-gravity sharks with lasers.

RE: Download 1TB data? no way!
By emoser96 on 4/22/2009 6:31:38 PM , Rating: 3
It's impossible to break into the red side of the DoD's network without physical access.

Barring some ridiculous EM analysis capabilities, this is true.

Breaking into the black side doesn't get much, in the way of red side data.

This is not always the case. Yes, the information itself is never classified above FOUO, but, if you can piece together enough FOUO, you can uncover classified capabilities. Think of it like if I have all the parts of the rocket without the instructions (not exactly but go with the analogy). Given some intelligence, a reasonable amount of time, and hard work, I'll be able to build the rocket using the "black" info I recovered from your unclassified servers.

Note: a reasonable amount of time, in this case, is not the 50 years needed for laser beams.

RE: Download 1TB data? no way!
By afkrotch on 4/23/2009 12:05:25 PM , Rating: 2
EMSEC. Good luck on EM analysis.

As for piecing together info, that's just dealing with operations. Which isn't classified. Only well..FOUO. Getting a lot of FOUO leads to having a lot of FOUO.

Well take your rocket analogy. All technical data on it is kept classified. All FOUO just deals with "part A will be complete at X time" or "part B will be arriving in a shipment on X day".

Hell for some of our ops, we'll classify anything pertaining to it until it's over. For us here, it's weather data. Well classify all the data we collect for a specific area, until whatever it is they were doing is over. Even then, that data stays classified for years. That's just weather data. An airport near the location can gather that data on their own.

Would they...
By inighthawki on 4/22/2009 10:34:57 AM , Rating: 4
Would they actually tell us if it did happen? I mean, an information breach in our defense security isn't exactly something that people would be comfortable with imo.

RE: Would they...
By WoWCow on 4/22/2009 12:22:57 PM , Rating: 2
Of course they would! They would just declassify the information and made it look like it was unimportant the entire time!

In all seriousness however, I really think there was something serious enough to warrant attention from the press, even if its paranoia. Or, it could be a plot to get the government to start spending money on a new project with the canning of the f-22.

Remember Marine 1?

By michael67 on 4/22/2009 2:07:44 PM , Rating: 2
Other investors in the project include Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, Canada, Australia, Denmark, and Norway. Israel is also said to be considering purchasing the jet.

The Netherlands is also considering NOT to buy the jet, as a lot of people are thinking that the F16 will still do the job just fine and the F35 is just to expensive!

And if they gone buy them its only going to be 1 ore 2 test planes

By Fireshade on 4/23/2009 6:05:36 AM , Rating: 2
What's your point?
It's not about buying the thing. The Netherlands have already invested in the development of the F-35. That's a fact that the article reports.

By LRonaldHubbs on 4/23/2009 11:25:54 AM , Rating: 1
The Neterlands are properly not gone buy F35 figters

Your English made me LOL...

By Alphafox78 on 4/22/2009 12:53:26 PM , Rating: 1
So the Wallstreet Journal was WRONG about something?! who knew...

By FPP on 4/24/2009 11:08:31 AM , Rating: 2
The fact is, it is the Pentagon and the sub-contractor who are disputing this, and all they are saying is that they have no definitive proof of a download, not that they can guarantee it never happened. I guess it depends on who is willing to believe the Pentagon....

Retired Lockheed Martin employee
By Smokey48 on 4/23/2009 10:25:54 PM , Rating: 3
I worked at Lockheed Martin for over thirty years. Spying got to be so pervasive that signs were placed in the hallways in various parts of all the buildings saying, "Only U.S. Citizens Allowed Beyond This Point."

When the first 1 gb flash drives came out, they cost well over $500. I saw a Chinese couple in Fry's buying one. I knew who the husband was, because he was an engineer working at Lockheed. He spoke with a very heavy accent. I suppose maybe he could have been buying the flash drive to send pics of his new Buick home...

And one woman who worked in personnel told me the that hardest part of her job was verifying prospective employees by having to check out family members -- in the PRC! [mainland China; what was called Red China back then].

I sincerely hope that Lockheed has gotten its security act together since I retired. But the poster above was 100% correct when he said the company wouldn't ever admit to having classified info stolen [just like they never admitted to repeatedly bribing Arab officials in order to sell the L-1011, or deliberately underbidding to win the P-7 contract, the successor to the P-3 Orion].

There is a LOT of peer pressure within the Chinese community. They all figure they'll go home [to China] eventually. So where are their loyalties? As the article points out, foreign governments are operating right here, right now. That's a fact. Put those facts together, and you can see the problem. And they're not just at Lockheed Martin.

Some time I'll tell you about the plutonium pellet that was stolen from Lockheed...

They're tricky
By DASQ on 4/23/2009 2:03:42 PM , Rating: 2
Lockheed Martin CFO Bruce Tanner said, "I've not heard of that, and to our knowledge there's never been any classified information breach."

See, that's still not denying there was an information breach. Perhaps the data wasn't classified as... well classified by the DoD, but was not considered 'for public viewing'.

Some good news...
By Amiga500 on 4/24/2009 6:27:39 AM , Rating: 2
The P&W F135 engine powering the JSF is 1.3% above the vertical thrust requirement.

Takes it to over 41,000 lbf...

Not bad... although it will still not be great compared to CATOBAR payload capacities.

Not surprised
By ablecluster on 4/24/2009 8:28:40 AM , Rating: 2
LOL, of course they denied it! What did you expect?


By Derka on 4/24/2009 10:51:19 AM , Rating: 2
Why would we even store data about this on a computer that's connected to the internet? It should be stored on offline computers. Just my two cents.

Uh yeah. . .
By blueboy09 on 4/26/2009 3:42:26 AM , Rating: 2
They can say whatever the hell they want to, but plausible deniability won't count here. We all know the truth, in one form or another. - BLUEBOY

"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller
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