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 Twitterverse
emptywheel @bmaz Oh, I've got several Burrs under my saddle and it's making me cranky and ruining my weekend, albeit to productive effect.
3mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Does @emptywheel still have a Burr in her saddle today? Or did the Wolvereenie girls in Blue overcome that?
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bmaz Also, new policy is not particularly firm on non-custodial interrogation/interviews https://t.co/8AeUu4ynfD
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bmaz New DOJ policy was first announced a year ago: https://t.co/2HDPx4bcMk The "exceptions" are huge+significant though. https://t.co/8AeUu4ynfD
18mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Man, this guy Sanford Asman, and his company CaseWebs, sure come off as huge dickheads https://t.co/B1YXYUaQKb
37mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @kgosztola Any leak of "credible reports of threats against cops"? They seem to release those before these dragnets as legal justification.
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emptywheel @mar7k Different functions. Palantir has specific contracts to do stuff w/data. Adobe may be collected under Section 215.
48mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @biasedreporter Yup. I'm beginning to believe that overseas there's no such thing as a discrete "wiretap" anymore.
51mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @mar7k Put it this way: For AT&T, $$ seems enough motivator. For MSFT, prolly takes $$ and immunity. VZ and Apple require more coercion.
56mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @mar7k But Burr's bill would include a number of other means of coercion.
57mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @mar7k They don't get paid under Section 215 right now (not directly anyway). They would be under USAF. Also, immunity would be expanded.
58mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @mar7k To be fair, it would be coerced, and appears to try to shut down normal legal means of challenge. Some providers don't want to coop
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