Pentagon aircraft, missile defense programs target of China cyber threat

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New revelations that China used cyberattacks to access data from nearly 40 Pentagon weapons programs and almost 30 other defense technologies have increased pressure on U.S. leaders to take more strident action against Beijing to stem the persistent breaches, The Washington Post reports.

The disclosure, which was included in a Defense Science Board report released earlier this year, but is only now being discussed publicly, comes as Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel heads to Southeast Asia, where he will discuss the escalating cyberthreat with counterparts from a number of area nations,

A chart included in the science board’s report laid out what it called a partial list of 37 breached programs, which included the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense weapon, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the F-22 Raptor fighter jet, and the hybrid MV-22 Osprey.

The report also listed another 29 broader defense technologies that have been compromised, including drone video systems and high-tech avionics.

The Pentagon, in its latest report on China’s military power, asserted publicly for the first time that Beijing’s military was likely behind computer-based attacks targeting federal agencies.

President Obama will also personally press his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping about cyber hacking when they meet next week, the Financial Times said.

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