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U.S. weapon system designs compromised by Chinese hackers

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Posted at 10:41 AM, May 28, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-28 10:41:51-04

A new, confidential report prepared for the military says many of the nation’s most sensitive advanced weapons systems have been compromised by Chinese hackers.

Many were programs critical to U.S. missile defenses and combat aircraft and ships, according to a previously undisclosed section of a confidential report prepared for Pentagon leaders by the Defense Science Board, reports the Washington Post.

The Defense Science Board, a senior advisory group made up of government and civilian experts, prepared the report. In January, the board warned in the public version of its report that the Pentagon is unprepared to counter a full-scale cyber-conflict.

Some of the weapons form the backbone of the Pentagon’s regional missile defense for Asia, Europe and the Persian Gulf. The designs included those for the advanced Patriot missile system, known as PAC-3; an Army system for shooting down ballistic missiles, known as the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD; and the Navy’s Aegis ballistic-missile defense system.

Also identified in the report are vital combat aircraft and ships, including the F/A-18 fighter jet, the V-22 Osprey, the Black Hawk helicopter and the Navy’s new Littoral Combat Ship, which is designed to patrol waters close to shore.

Also on the list is the most expensive weapons system ever built — the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which is on track to cost about $1.4 trillion.

Read more at the Washington Post