Computer spies have broken into the Pentagon’s $300 billion Joint Strike Fighter project — the Defense Department’s costliest weapons program ever — according to current and former government officials familiar with the attacks.
Similar incidents have also breached the Air Force’s air-traffic-control system in recent months, these people say. In the case of the fighter-jet program, the intruders were able to copy and siphon off several terabytes of data related to design and electronics systems, officials say, potentially making it easier to defend against the craft.
Read a somewhat related story from earier this week. – Chinese cyber spies have penetrated so deep into the US system ranging from its secure defense network, banking system, electricity grid to putting spy chips into its defense planes that it can cause serious damage to the US any time, a top US official on counter-intelligence has said.
UPDATE: The Pentagon and Lockheed Martin, the lead defense contractor for the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, suggested yesterday that cyber-attacks had not caused any serious security breaches in the Pentagon’s most expensive weapons program.
Still, defense and corporate officials said attacks on the Pentagon as well as the F-35 program are constant, and former defense officials familiar with the program said some of the F-35’s less sensitive systems have been infiltrated by cyber-intruders.