Chinese Hackers Breach US Navy Computers

Report China hacked a Navy contractor and stole huge amounts of sensitive data

A Washington contractor, who has yet to be named, said its files on "secret plans to develop a supersonic anti-ship missile" had been hacked.

The hacks took place in January and February and targeted an unidentified contractor who works for the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Newport, R.I., that conducts research and development for submarines and underwater weaponry, The Washington Post reported, citing U.S. officials.

The attack targeted the contractor's unclassified network. Among these were secret plans to develop a supersonic anti-ship missile for use on U.S. submarines by 2020, The Washington Post reported.

The Navy is leading the investigation into the breach-that occurred in January and February-with the assistance of the FBI, US officials said on Friday. "It would be inappropriate to discuss further details at this time", the US Navy said in a statement to Reuters news agency.

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A commander of the US Navy, Bill Speaks, said that measures were in place requiring companies to notify the government when a "cyber incident" had occurred on networks that contained "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. Military experts in the US are concerned with China having developed naval capabilities that might prove to be significant in case of a conflict between both countries. The White House is seeking Beijing's help in negotiating with North Korea over its nuclear weapons, while at the same time sparring with China over trade and China's territorial claims in the South China Sea, reports the Hill.

The breach is part of Beijing's long-time effort to steal technological secrets from the United States as it seeks to blunt Washington's influence in the east Pacific and dominate the region.

According to the Post, the Sea Dragon project was created by the Pentagon in 2012 to adapt existing USA military technologies to new applications. The initiative, which is shrouded in secrecy, was first launched in 2012.

The Defense Department has disclosed little about Sea Dragon other than to say that it will introduce a "disruptive offensive capability" by "integrating an existing weapon system with an existing Navy platform".

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