China Hacked Blueprints for U.S. Fighter JetsChinese hackers stole the blueprints for America’s new Joint Strike Fighter planes, the F-35 and F-22 — an example of cyberattacks that can “devastate our nation,” a leading congressman disclosed.
“I think it’s important that the American people have a better idea of what is at risk,” Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, chairman of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations and Management, said at a subcommittee hearing on Tuesday.
“When I look at the theft of intellectual property to the tune of $1 trillion, that’s a serious economic issue for the United States.
"When I look at countries like China, who have stolen our Joint Strike Fighters, F-35 and F-22s, stolen those blueprints so they can manufacture those planes and then guard against those planes.
“Make no mistake, America is under attack by digital bombs. There are several things the American public should understand about these attacks. They are real, stealthy and persistent and can devastate our nation.
“China’s cyber warfare capabilities and the espionage campaigns they have undertaken are the most prevalent of any nation state actor. China has created citizen hacker groups, engaged in cyberespionage, established cyberwar military units.”
In addition to stealing vital information on America’s weapons programs and security, he warned that cyberattacks could also blow up natural gas pipelines, derail trains, hack financial systems, and cause chemical plants to leak toxins, The Hill reported.
Larry Wortzel, a member of the United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission, told the House Foreign Affairs Committee at a March 28 hearing that the People’s Liberation Army of China has made cyberattacks a “cornerstone” of its operations.
A commission report noted that Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and British Aerospace and Engineering have reportedly experienced penetrations from China-based hackers in the past three years.
Newsmax reported last August that the Internet security firm McAfee had uncovered the largest series of cyberattacks ever — for five years hackers infiltrated 72 organizations including defense firms and the American government — and security experts pointed to China as the culprit.
At Tuesday’s subcommittee hearing, security experts told the panel that Russia, Iran and North Korea are also experimenting with cyberattacks, Voice of America News reported.
They said threats to the U.S. electric power grid and mass transportation systems could come from foreign intelligence services, anti-American computer hackers and terrorists.