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.

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9 Responses to BAE F-35 Hack Confirmed

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emptywheel @JasonLeopold Holy shit. They're such a mockery of themselves. Please please please used that tweet the next time they Glomar you?
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emptywheel RT @JasonLeopold: haha. Good 1! #GLOMAR RT @CIA Aug. 16, 1974: Hughes #Glomar Explorer arrives in Hawaii. Follow us next week to find out w…
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emptywheel @onekade And by "they" I should specify "John Brennan." Among others surely. But John Brennan.
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emptywheel @onekade That to. But it is definitely a fact that they used tortured derived claims to justify the dragnet. Fact.
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emptywheel @onekade You have to justify dragnet somehow. One way to do so is to ask people you're torturing to confirm theory that requires dragnets.
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emptywheel @onekade I know this shocks you.
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emptywheel Holy shit was torture ever useful for the security state.
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bmaz I am simply despondent nobody in DC will go be my ears at the @930Club for the Big Star concert tomorrow night? Come on big time slackers.
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bmaz @janehamsher Can you not fix this?? https://t.co/Y8OfrJ5Hao
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bmaz Come on you DC mopes, I would do it for you in a heartbeat. @dcbigjohn @930Club
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bmaz Seriously, apparently @dcbigjohn has failed, is there NOBODY in DC who will stand in for me at Big Star concert at @930Club tomorrow night??
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bmaz @lyssophobe May "the locals" find a sinkhole of social Darwinism. (Some my be distant relatives of mine).
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