WASHINGTON — Cyberattacks sponsored by the Chinese government infiltrated a U.S. Navy contractor’s computers, allowing digital thieves to access sensitive data related to secret Navy projects on a submarine anti-ship missile.
The information stolen was stored on the contractor’s unclassified network despite being “highly sensitive nature,” according to information obtained by the Washington Post.
According to the report, 614 gigabytes of material on a closely held project known as Sea Dragon were taken. Contracted for the military organization Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Sea Dragon aims to develop a supersonic anti-ship missile for use on U.S. submarines.
Cmdr. Bill Speaks, Navy spokesman, confirmed that measures exist which “require companies to notify the government when a ‘cyber incident’ has occurred,” as had occurred in this instance.
In its version of annual defense authorization bill, the Senate Armed Services Committee proposes bolstering America’s cyber prowess through a collection of new funding and programs.
Experts have witnessed a recent “reemergence” of China-based hacking groups that had seemed to have “gone dormant for a while,” said Cristiana Brafman Kittner, principal analyst at cybersecurity firm FireEye.
China has increasingly grown not only as an economic cyberthreat, but an online menace to national security as well.