Chinese hackers 'steal secret US Navy plans for supersonic submarine missiles'

Chinese hackers 'steal secret US Navy plans for supersonic submarine missiles'

The FBI is investigating after the Chinese government hacked a US Navy contractor and stole highly sensitive security data, US media say.

The revelation of the cyberattack, which happened last winter, comes days before President Trump attends a summit in Singapore with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who counts Beijing among his allies.

What baffles the security experts is the fact that the data was highly sensitive but at the same time was unclassified, leaving space for the hackers to get off with the information.

Chinese hackers have for years targeted the USA military to steal information and the Pentagon says they have previously swiped crucial data on the new F-35 stealth fighter, the advanced Patriot PAC-3 missile system and other highly sensitive projects.

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

She said it would be "inappropriate to discuss further details at this time".

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The hackers are believed to have targeted a contractor working for the Naval Undersea Warfare Centre, on Rhode Island. The news comes as President Donald Trump's administration is seeking to secure Beijing's support in persuading North Korea to give up nuclear weapons, even as tensions persist between the United States and China over trade and defence matters.

The US National Security Agency whistleblower, Edward Snowden, said the US government was hacking Chinese mobile phone companies and research institutions.

The Pentagon has spent more than $300 million since 2015 on the Sea Dragon project, which involves adapting current Navy technology for new uses. The initiative, which is shrouded in secrecy, was first launched in 2012.

The Chinese government has made long-term investments in bolstering its military capabilities over the years, acquiring quieter submarines equipped with sophisticated weaponry.

One of the main concerns that we have is cyber and penetration of the dot-com networks, exploiting technology from our defense contractors, in some instances, ' Adm. Philip S. Davidson said during his April nomination hearing to lead U.S. Indo-Pacific Command.

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