Feb 23 2023


Category: Cyber EspionageDISC @ 3:19 pm

According to a recent security report, Chinese government has decided to resort to hacking, cyberwarfare and corporate espionage tactics to boost its ambitious defense program, compromising the systems of firms like Lockheed Martin in order to access classified information useful for their own purposes.

Peter Suciu, a renowned researcher, says China is an actor that should be taken seriously, especially on military issues. This is not the first such report, as since 2019 the Pentagon had accused the Chinese military of resorting to what they defined as “cyber theft” and other methods to achieve great improvements in military terms.

It all went back to 2007, when the firm Lockheed Martin discovered that a Chinese hacking group had been stealing technical documents related to the F-35 program, while a similar theft occurred when cybercriminals working for Beijing managed to compromise a network of an Australian subcontractor to the F-35.

These reports lead experts to believe that the Chinese have acquired a wealth of crucial information and data for these programs, including the development of the Chinese J-20 fighter jet, also known as “Mighty Dragon.” Suciu himself claims that the creation of these aircraft would have been impossible without the information stolen from Lockheed Martin.

In connection with these reports, Business Insider published a report detailing the clear similarities in appearance and engineering between American aircraft and those created by the Chinese government. In addition, the report not only emphasizes the similarity of these aircraft, but also states that the sensor systems used by the Chinese government are virtually identical to the electro-optical guidance employed by Lockheed Martin in the Lightning II model, further evidence of espionage against the company.

To learn more about information security risks, malware variants, vulnerabilities and information technologies, feel free to access the International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS) websites.

In 2007, Chinese Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) hackers targeted the computer networks of defense contractor Lockheed Martin, which was working on the development of the F-35 Lightning II fighter jet. The APT hackers gained access to the networks by using spear-phishing attacks to trick employees into downloading malware or providing their login credentials. Once inside the network, the hackers used various techniques to move laterally and gain access to sensitive data.

The hackers were able to steal large amounts of data related to the F-35 program, including design plans, testing results, and software source code. The stolen data allowed China to gain a significant advantage in its own stealth fighter program, the J-20.

The J-20 first flew in 2011, and it bears striking similarities to the F-35. Both aircraft are designed to be stealthy, with angular shapes and features that minimize their radar signature. The J-20 also features advanced avionics and sensor systems, which are similar to those used in the F-35.

The theft of the F-35 data was part of a larger campaign by Chinese APT hackers to steal sensitive information from Western companies and governments. The campaign, which has been ongoing for many years, is believed to be part of China’s broader efforts to modernize its military and develop advanced technologies.

The theft of the F-35 data was a significant blow to U.S. national security, as it gave China valuable insights into one of the most advanced fighter jets in the world. It also highlighted the need for stronger cybersecurity measures and better protection of sensitive data.

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Tags: cyber espionage

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