Hack of US Navy contractor nets China 614 Gigabytes of classified information


China supposedly exfiltrated classified data pertaining to the US Navy projects after a successful cyber-attack on an unnamed Navy contractor caused the loss of 614 gigabytes of cryptographic information, sensor data, the exposure of a classified project known as Sea Dragon, and submarine electronic warfare.

The said contractor assumed to work for the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, allegedly collected and stored the information on an unclassified network.

The Sea Dragon scheme seems to be a Pentagon project aimed at causing disruptive offensive capability by combining an already existing weapon system with an existing Navy platform.

All the trove of data supposedly also contains information about a supersonic anti-ship missile that’s expected to be fixed onto US submarines by 2020, escalating the tactical military value of the theft.

Officials have predicted that the Chinese government was responsible for the attack, as this kind of military intelligence is exactly what China requires to bridge the technology gap between the United States’ navy and it’s Navy.

“So anything that demeans our comparative benefit in undersea warfare is of severe significance if we ever had to carry out our war plans for dealing with China,” said James Stavridis, the dean, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

While this is one of many times the US has blamed China for breaches on government contractors resulting in the loss of sensitive military research and information, this event has been credited to the Chinese Ministry of State Security, a civilian agency tasked with counterintelligence.

“We treat the larger subject of cyber-intrusion against our contractors very seriously,” said Cmdr. Bill Speaks, a Navy spokesman. “If such an interference were to occur, the suitable parties would be looking at the exact incident, taking actions to protect current information, and mitigating the impacts that might result from any data that might have been compromised.”

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