Lightning Attack

It appears that the F-35 stealth fighter program is even more multinational in nature than advertised, possibly now including Chinese participation of a sort, according to the Wall Street Journal. The newspaper reported yesterday that computer spies, potentially from China, have penetrated the F-35 program’s computer networks on numerous occasions since 2007 and siphoned off large volumes of data on the aircraft. It cites multiple current and former government officials familiar with the attacks. While the aircraft’s most sensitive information, which is stored on computers not connected to the Internet, has apparently not been accessed, the breeches are still quite disconcerting, as they represent a growing trend and highlight US vulnerability, the officials said. Equally disconcerting are the reported intrusions in the Air Force’s air-traffic-control system by computer hackers in recent months, the newspaper said. Gen. Kevin Chilton, commander of US Strategic Command, warned in February that the US military’s networks were increasingly under attack and vulnerable. He called for a concerted defense enterprise-wide effort to reverse this. It’s certainly no secret that countries like China are investing heavily in cyber attack capabilities as a means of countering US conventional military dominance.