US targets Chinese company with action over alleged military hacking

14 Jul 2014

F-35 image via Wikimedia Commons

The US government is clamping down on alleged hacking of sensitive military data after its justice department charged the owner of a leading Chinese military aircraft manufacturer with obtaining information from US defence contractors.

The two countries have been at loggerheads in recent years over accusations and counter accusations about attempted cyber-spying on everything from advanced military technologies to corporate espionage but now the US is ramping up its efforts with these proceedings.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the man charged with espionage, Su Bin, is alleged to have gained access to the inner working of Boeing and other US military companies between 2009 and 2013 and sold back the information to the Chinese government at a considerable price.

Some of the information alleged to have been passed on to the Asian superpower include some of the US’s most highly-protected aircraft including the C 17 transport plane and its next generation fighter jets, the F-22 and the F-35.

According to the prosecution’s 50 page document on Su Bin, the owner of Beijing Lode Technology Co. Ltd was approached by freelance hackers who offered a list of what they could hack and steal from the target companies which Bin would take to state-owned Chinese defence contractors to see what would be of worth to them.

Speaking of the allegations, a spokesperson for the US Justice Department said: “We remain deeply concerned about cyber-enabled theft of sensitive information.”

“The conspirators are alleged to have accessed the computer networks of US defence contractors without authorisation and stolen data related to military aircraft and weapons systems.”

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic