Chinese Hackers Raid US Contractor for Submarine Tech: Report

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Chinese state hackers have stolen a huge trove of sensitive data from a US navy contractor, which could help the nation close the gap further with its rival superpower on the high seas.

The 614GB of material appears to have been focused on submarine-related military projects.

It was stolen from a contractor with the Naval Undersea Warfare Center and included “signals and sensor data, submarine radio room information relating to cryptographic systems, and the Navy submarine development unit’s electronic warfare library,” according to the Washington Post.

Perhaps most alarming is the theft of information on a top secret $300m Sea Dragon project which is set to introduce a “disruptive offensive capability” to underwater battle.

Experts the paper spoke to believe that although China is investing huge sums to gain parity with the US on the high seas, it currently falls behind in anti-submarine technology, giving the US a theoretical advantage underwater.

Unnamed officials claimed that the material stolen was stored on the contractor’s unclassified network, but that if aggregated it could be considered as “classified”.

The incident is a reminder that while Russian hackers have become a staple feature of the news over the past couple of years, China’s fearsome intelligence apparatus remains a serious threat to Western governments.

The unit responsible for this raid is thought to have come from a Ministry of State Security (MSS) division in Guangdong.

Although the US struck a non-hacking agreement with China back in 2015, that only covered economic cybercrime and not cyber-espionage attempts focused around national security.

China’s continued militarization of the South China Sea remains a serious threat to US dominance in the region and a long-term strategic failure on the part of Washington, which has largely sat by and watched as the country builds out infrastructure on the islands, shoals and rocky outcrops that dot the area.

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