World Media

Chinese hackers reportedly steal massive United States sea warfare data

Chinese hackers stole secret plans for new US Navy weapon

Compromised in the breach were over 600 gigabytes of data involving "Sea Dragon", a classified effort led by the Pentagon's Strategic Capabilities Office, as well as signals and sensor data, submarine radio room information, the Navy submarine development unit's electronic warfare library and sensitive plans to develop a supersonic anti-ship missile, the report said.

The data was stolen by Chinese hackers by breaching into the computers of a contractor. Among these were secret plans to develop a supersonic anti-ship missile for use on United States submarines by 2020, The Washington Post reported.

Chinese President Xi Jinping meets Britain's Prince Andrew, not pictured, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, May 29, 2018.

"It would be inappropriate to discuss further details at this time", he said.

Security professionals have long observed Chinese spies conducting cyberattacks against US defense contractors in order to spy on military capabilities.

"Per federal regulations, 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 officials refused to identify the contractor, and upon the Navy's request, the newspaper also agreed to withhold some details about the hack, citing national security as the reason to do so.

The news comes days before a summit in Singapore at which US President Donald Trump will meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, who counts Beijing among his allies. It conducts research and development for submarines and underwater weapons systems. 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.

Naval experts fear that the build-up is created to undermine the US's ability to defend its allies in the region and suggests that most of the advancements made have come from cyber attacks mostly aimed at private contractors.

Following the Post's report, Defense Secretary James Mattis directed the Pentagon's Inspector General to investigate the incident.