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Published: Sun, June 10, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

China hacks computers of US Navy contractor, secures highly sensitive data

China hacks computers of US Navy contractor, secures highly sensitive data

Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) has launched an investigation into reports that the Chinese government hacked a US Navy contractor and stole highly sensitive security data, according to media reports.

In the case of the US Navy contractor, US officials told the Washington Post that the firm had been working for the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, a military organisation based in Newport, Rhode Island.

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

The hackers, according to the Post, also stole plans for a supersonic anti-ship missile for use on USA submarines with the breaches taking place in January and February.

Chinese President Xi Jinping meets Britain's Prince Andrew, not pictured, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, May 29, 2018. Bill Speaks was quoted as telling the Post. The Post said details on hundreds of mechanical and software systems were compromised in the hacking.

According to the Post, hackers swiped 614 gigabytes of data that included information relating to sensors, submarine cryptographic systems and a little-known project called Sea Dragon.

"There are measures in place that require companies to notify the government when a "cyber incident" has occurred that has actual or potential adverse effects on their networks that contain controlled unclassified information."

The last massive government breaches were reported in 2015 when cyber attacks from Beijing targeted the Office of Personnel Management and Woods Hole Institute, an oceanographic research organization that sometimes partners with the US Navy.

Security professionals have long observed Chinese spies conducting cyberattacks against USA defense contractors in order to spy on military capabilities. The news comes as President Donald Trump's administration is seeking to secure Beijing's support in persuading North Korea to give up nuclear weapons, even as tensions persist between the USA and China over trade and defence matters. The latter remains secretive: The only information released by the DoD is that it will integrate an existing weapon system with an existing Navy platform.

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