China reportedly stole secret U.S. weapon plans in Navy hack

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Officials said both the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Navy are investigating the breach, according to the Post.

Chinese government hackers compromised the computers of a U.S. Navy contractor and stole a large amount of highly sensitive data on undersea warfare, including plans for a supersonic anti-ship missile for use on U.S. submarines, the Washington Post reported on Friday, citing unnamed U.S. officials.

Among the stolen data were plans for a supersonic anti-ship missle that was planned to be on US submarines by 2020.

The data was highly sensitive despite being located on the contractor's unclassified network; When aggregated, it could be considered classified, sources told The Washington Post. Bill Speaks told the Post.

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In a comment to the Post, however, a Navy spokesman said there's a process in place for third parties to notify the government when a breach may have affected controlled unclassified information, but that it would be "inappropriate to discuss further details". Chinese hackers have for years targeted the USA military to steal information and the Pentagon says they have previously swiped crucial data on the new F-35 stealth fighter, the advanced Patriot PAC-3 missile system and other highly sensitive projects. The White House is seeking Beijing's help in negotiating with North Korea over its nuclear weapons, while at the same time sparring with China over trade and China's territorial claims in the South China Sea, reports the Hill.

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. It conducts research and development for submarines and underwater weapons systems.

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. The information related to a secret project known as Sea Dragon.

"The idea is that we are going to rely heavily on submarines in the early effort of any conflict with the Chinese".

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