Published: Sat, June 09, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Chinese government hackers reportedly stole trove of sensitive U.S. naval data

Chinese government hackers reportedly stole trove of sensitive U.S. naval data

The Chinese have hacked U.S. military information before.

The hacks took place in January and February and targeted an unidentified contractor who works for the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Newport, R.I., that conducts research and development for submarines and underwater weaponry, The Washington Post reported, citing United States officials.

Data stolen in the breach include plans for a supersonic missile project, USA officials told the Washington Post.

Hackers reportedly targeted a contractor which works for the Naval Undersea Warfare Center - a research and support centre in Newport, Rhode Island.

"It would be inappropriate to discuss further details at this time", the US Navy said in response to a query from Reuters.

The "highly sensitive data" was held by the contractor in a network of unclassified information, triggering concerns about possibly lax policing of contractor security protections, according to the Post.

A commander of the US Navy, Bill Speaks, said that measures were in place requiring companies to notify the government when a "cyber incident" had occurred on networks that contained "controlled unclassified information".

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China has also stepped up pressure on its neighbour Taiwan, prompting U.S. nuclear bombers to swoop on the South China Sea.

Former Sen. Jim Talent (R-Mo.), who is a member of the U.S. China Economic and Security Review Commission, called the incident 'very disturbing, ' adding however that reports of the Chinese hacking scheme was nothing new. That includes stealing secrets from our defense contractors, ' said Talent.

The Pentagon has not said much about Sea Dragon, launched in 2012, except that it is aimed at adapting existing military technologies to new uses.

The missile project, titled "Sea Dragon", along with submarine cryptographic systems, was part of the 614 gigabytes of sensitive information stolen by China.

Military experts said the breach signaled that China could be working to complicate the Navy's ability to defend USA allies in Asia amid a conflict with Beijing in the region.

Pentagon officials would not name the government contractor.

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