BAE F-35 Hack Confirmed

I’ve long complained that the government’s obsession with WikiLeaks is badly misplaced. After all, DOD and some of its contractors simply can’t keep their networks secure from Chinese hackers. So if our chief rival can take what it wants, why worry so much that actual American citizens have access to what China can take with abandon?

Case in point. The Australian has confirmed what was initially reported three years ago: China hacked BAE to steal performance information on the F-35.

CHINESE spies hacked into computers belonging to BAE Systems, Britain’s biggest defence company, to steal details about the design, performance and electronic systems of the West’s latest fighter jet, senior security figures have disclosed.

The Chinese exploited vulnerabilities in BAE’s computer defences to steal vast amounts of data on the $300 billion F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, a multinational project to create a plane that will give the West air supremacy for years to come, according to the sources.

[snip]

One of those present said: “The BAE man said that for 18 months, Chinese cyber attacks had taken place against BAE and had managed to get hold of plans of one of its latest fighters.”

This plane will have taken more than $385 billion to develop and will take $1 trillion to sustain. It is the most expensive weapons system in history. And yet for 18 months, the Chinese were just living on (at least) BAE’s networks taking what they wanted. How much of the considerable cost and rework on this program comes from the data on it China has stolen along the way?

In fact, I’m wondering whether China isn’t borrowing from our own playbook: during the Cold War, we made Russia go bankrupt by engaging in an arms race it couldn’t afford. China doesn’t need to do that. By hacking our data, they can just make us go bankrupt by setting up an arms race between our contractors and its hackers. With the result that we build a trillion dollar plane that it can already exploit.

And yet the government’s priority seems to be shutting up leakers who reveal its crimes, not networks that reveal our biggest military secrets.

Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Reddit0Share on Facebook0Google+0Email to someone

9 Responses to BAE F-35 Hack Confirmed

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz @ScottGreenfield @lawfareblog @OrinKerr @granick You saw my opening salvo I presume.
15mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @ScottGreenfield @lawfareblog @OrinKerr @granick Ah, top of the morning to you Mr. Greenfield.
24mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Okay, CNN International simulcast is great. Just did a report on the scary clown ban in France. Now that is news I can use. #BanClowns
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @LegallyErin The report I just saw on CNN looked pretty awesome. Wind and waves onto roads and all kinds of good stuff.
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @LegallyErin Bundle up baybee!
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @LegallyErin Say, my tee-bee says you have some kind weather thing going on there.
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @walterwkatz @gideonstrumpet @ScottGreenfield @LilianaSegura @roomfordebate Yes, that was a nice little touch, no? Jeebus.
4hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @LegallyErin: There's something very sexy about Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal. I always date the worst guys.
6hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @imraansiddiqi You seemed like such a respectable chap, and now here you are talking about Kardashians. #Shame
6hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @cody_k I went as a Pando journalist blowing shit out of my ass about Greenwald.
6hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @dcbigjohn @erinscafe In or out of the furry costume?
6hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @AntheaButler: Hands up, don't shoot. RT @deray: Superhero protest. #Ferguson http://t.co/ejnhDLq7jv
6hreplyretweetfavorite