Yesterday brought stunning news of yet another security lapse by our Navy. As reported by The Washington Post, Chinese hackers in the first two months of this year penetrated the computers of an unnamed defense contractor, “stealing massive amounts of highly sensitive data related to undersea warfare” from the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Newport, Rhode Island.
NUWC (“new-ick”), as it’s called by sailors, handles sensitive and classified projects for the Navy’s submarine force, which just happens to be one of the few areas where the U.S. Navy still holds important advantages over its Chinese rival. As China’s rapidly expanding navy increasingly contests American naval dominance in the Western Pacific, our submarine force retains an important technological and tactical edge over Beijing—one that may just have been fatally compromised.
The hackers, who belonged to the Ministry of State Security, cleared out an astonishing amount of defense information such as “secret plans to develop a supersonic anti-ship missile for use on U.S. submarines by 2020” according to the Post, as well as “614 gigabytes of material relating to a closely held project known as Sea Dragon, as well as signals and sensor data, submarine radio room information relating to cryptographic systems, and the Navy submarine development unit’s electronic warfare library.” Since one gigabyte is equivalent to about a thousand good-sized books, roughly a half-million pages of text, this was an astonishingly large compromise.
Read the rest at The Observer …