F-35 data stolen in Australia defense hack
SENSITIVE data about Australia’s F-35 stealth fighter and P-8 surveillance aircraft programs were stolen when a defense subcontractor was hacked using a tool widely used by Chinese cyber criminals, officials said yesterday. The 50-person aerospace engineering firm was compromised in July last year but the national cyber security agency, the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), only became aware of the breach in November, technology website ZDNet Australia reported. Some 30GB of “sensitive data” subjected to restricted access under the US government’s International Traffic in Arms Regulations rules were stolen, ASD’s Mitchell Clarke told a security conference Wednesday according to ZDNet. Clarke, who worked on the case and did not name the subcontractor, said information about the F-35, the U.S.’s latest generation of fighter jets, as well as the P8, an advanced submarine hunter and surveillance craft, were lifted.The hackers used a tool called “China Chopper” which, according to security experts, is widely used by Chinese actors, and had gained access via an internet-facing server, he said.