Chinese hackers steal submarine, undersea plans in massive US Navy contractor breach

Chinese President Xi Jinping meets Britain's Prince Andrew not

Navy officials recently told The Washington Post that Chinese hackers had stolen large amounts of sensitive data from a Nav contractor.

Quoting unnamed American officials, the daily said the stolen material also included information related to a secretive 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.

The officials did not identify the contractor.

It said the stolen information amounted to 614 gigabytes of material, including secret plans to develop a supersonic anti-ship missile for use on US submarines by 2020.

Chinese President Xi Jinping meets Britain's Prince Andrew, not pictured, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, May 29, 2018.

"There are measures in place that require companies to notify the government when a "cyber incident" has occurred that has actual or potential adverse effects on their networks that contain controlled unclassified information", a Navy spokesman said. Chinese hackers have for years targeted the U.S. military to steal information and the Pentagon says they have previously swiped crucial data on the new F-35 stealth fighter, the advanced Patriot PAC-3 missile system and other highly sensitive projects.

Regarding Friday's report, the Post said it had agreed to withhold some details about the compromised missile project at the request of the Navy, which said their release could harm national security.

Hackers targeted a contractor linked to a United States military organisation that conducts research and development for submarines and underwater weaponry.

It also comes as President Donald Trump continues to court Beijing in his efforts to denuclearize North Korea. Military experts in the US are concerned with China having developed naval capabilities that might prove to be significant in case of a conflict between both countries. It conducts research and development for submarines and underwater weapons systems.

The Pentagon has spent more than $300 million since 2015 on the Sea Dragon project, which involves adapting current Navy technology for new uses.

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