$300 Billion Pentagon Project Hacked (Data Compromised, Again)
According to a front page Wall Street Journal article this morning, it looks like piles of data related to the $300 billion F-35 Joint Strike Fighter military plane have found their way in to the hands of hackers. According to government officials the newspaper spoke with, the Defense Department was the subject of a concerted cyber attack over the past few months in which terabytes (yes plural) of data related to the project were intercepted and fed to IP addresses that have been tracked to China.
Of course, the Chinese embassy issued a statement denying any involvement and said it "opposes and forbids all forms of cyber crimes," but we know it means that in the same way Ted Haggard meant that he opposed homosexuality.
"We aggressively monitor our networks for intrusions...," Air Force Lt. Col. Eric Butterbaugh told the WSJ. Now, anyone who has ever tried to download an HD movie via BitTorrent knows how long it takes to download a few gigabytes of data, which leads us to believe the monitoring couldn't be too aggressive if spies were able to siphon off several thousand gigabytes before setting off alarms.
This is, of course, just the latest story that paints a rather unflattering picture of the state of cyber security in the U.S. (and iTunes gift cards are the least of our worries). In this year alone, we've seen data about the presidential chopper appear on Iranian laptops, warnings about hackers causing blackouts, an intrusion into the FAA, and a wholesale hijacking of the federal government's job listing site. All this while the Pentagon has spent over $100 million to protect against such attacks, which are only expected to increase further.
According to the article, a new position within the White House may be created to specifically deal with cyber security threats, which may make managing vulnerabilities and obtaining the proper funds to defend against e-spies easier. But until such legislation is pushed through congress, the most comforting thing the Pentagon can tell us is that most sensitive data regarding the F-35 is physically isolated from the Internet.
Unfortunately, the WSJ says that plenty of data regarding the fighter's performance and its maintenance systems was compromised. Click the read link for the full article, which, in a gross understatement, Gizmodo called "a pretty alarming read." [From: The Wall Street Journal]