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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 bribud on 4/21/2009 1:16:09 PM , Rating: 2
No actually that IS what I meant... their government. Come on, you know as well as I do that their government controls every little thing they do. So by me saying "The Chinese" when speaking of technology espionage, of course I am referring to the REAL people in charge, which is their government. Do you think an innocent citizen could actually get away with what they want? Not with big bully brother always watching over.

RE: The Chinese
By ChugokuOtaku on 4/21/2009 2:19:22 PM , Rating: 1
You'd be surprised by what ppl have been getting away with in China. As long as the government doesn't feel threatened, it's more than happy to let things slide, or as long as they get their cut.

but going along on a tangent, as a Chinese myself, I actually don't have much sympathy for the people being "oppressed" by the current regime. Back track half a century, they had their "election", and they "voted" by siding with the communists and drove the nationalist to taiwan. Even if it was "one man, one vote, one time", they still HAD their vote, and regardless of all the bitching I hear from all these anti-commies/reformists/falungong/pro-democratic/et c, no one wants to face the real question: had the Chinese ppl had better sense back in the day, would they have made the same choice? Maybe it's the people themselves who should realize that as citizens of a nation, they have the responsibility to take part in the government, and stop hoping for a "good emperor".

After all, the government in power, democratic or not, in many ways, is a mirror reflection of its people.

"It seems as though my state-funded math degree has failed me. Let the lashings commence." -- DailyTech Editor-in-Chief Kristopher Kubicki
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