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F-35 Lightning II fighter jet  (Source: BAE)
Information regarding the U.S. government's next-generation aircraft was hacked into on numerous occasions

About 11 days after a report indicated foreign cyberspies targeted the U.S. electrical grid, another report has revealed cyberspies successfully attacked the Pentagon's Joint Strike Fighter project, according to media reports.  Several Joint Strike Fighter aircraft are already flying, with future development costs already factored into the Pentagon's budget in 2009 and 2010.

Intruders were able to copy saved information regarding the design and electronics systems of the F-35 Lightning II fighter jet, which could make it easier to defend against its capabilities.  Computer systems used for the project were originally compromised as early as 2007, and have continued to be targeted by intruders.

Whoever was hacking into the system investigated the plane's design, performance statistics, and specific details regarding its electronic systems, according to the official.  It appears computer networks used by contractors can be blamed for the original security breach, sources said.  Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and BAE System are working on the project alongside the US government.

The most sensitive information -- which is stored on computers not connected to the internet -- was not breached by intruders, it was reported.  All information stolen was encrypted during the theft, which has made it nearly impossible for government security experts to see which information was compromised.

The Air Force declined to make a statement to the Wall Street Journal, but an internal investigation was reportedly launched into the matter.  It appears the attacks originated to Chinese IP addresses, investigators said with a "high level of certainty."

The federal government is aware there is a growing cyber threat from organized computer hacking rings, but has been very slow to react to the new threats.  Hackers have targeted the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)'s air traffic control system, along with the U.S. power infrastructure.

Many western nations, including officials in the U.S., blame China for launching organized attacks against numerous targets, though the Chinese government has shrugged off numerous accusations.  The country "opposes and forbids all forms of cyber crimes," according to a statement issued by the Chinese Embassy.

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RE: The Chinese
By Nfarce on 4/21/2009 12:16:40 PM , Rating: 3
Kudos to everyone on the forum for not engaging in simplistic racist statements.

1) Chinese espionage is well known in the United States. It's been happening for at least three presidents now, including our current one. There have been several convictions of Chinese Americans.

2) US Intelligence (and its citizens) have every right to be concerned about espionage as a very real and present threat to national security no matter where it comes from. Would you claim it is "racist" for anyone here raising these same concerns for, oh, I don't know, say Russian espionage?

Claiming "racism" at the drop of a hat every time someone calls something out (and that goes for calling out the Obama administration on things) is juvenile and demeans the true meaning of racism for truly valid race concerns - like not getting hired based on the color of one's skin.

RE: The Chinese
By psychmike on 4/21/2009 12:37:28 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe you should loosen your tinfoil hat and re-read my post. I said that it's a good thing that people are NOT engaging in racist rhetoric. I never said that it's racist to condemn espionage by a foreign country.

Also, I'm FAIRLY certain that the US has a few robust espionage programs in place. You're not likely to hear about the unsavory things that they do are you?


RE: The Chinese
By Nfarce on 4/21/2009 2:39:14 PM , Rating: 2
Okay I re-read my post, and I was not directing comments AT you. My mistake was saying would "you" consider it racist to... blah blah. It was more of being directed at the mentality of those who constantly berate others and call them racists when the issue has nothing to do with race and everything to do with actions (or inaction). May apologies if that sounded like an attack on you personally.

Also, I'm FAIRLY certain that the US has a few robust espionage programs in place. You're not likely to hear about the unsavory things that they do are you?

Well thanks to our media like the New York Times, many of them have already been exposed.

RE: The Chinese
By psychmike on 4/21/2009 6:17:02 PM , Rating: 2
Your apology is humbly accepted. I am sorry, I was harsh too. Politics and race often bring up a lot of issues for people.

It sounds like you're an intelligent person who might have gotten the short end of the stick on some policy issues, but I hope it doesn't encourage you to take an 'us versus them' view of the world.


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