A Chinese businessman who allegedly hacked into the computers of top American defense contractors to steal sensitive information on military aircraft programs is being held in a Canadian jail awaiting a hearing on a US request for extradition. The man, known as Su Bin, or Stephan Subin, was arrested in British Columbia on June 28 on a US complaint that he and associates penetrated the computers systems of aerospace giants Boeing and Lockheed Martin, Canadian news services reported. According to an FBI complaint cited by news services, Bin and his coconspirators gained access into the corporations’ computers for years and may have obtained information on the C-17 transport, the F-22 fighter, and other programs. Bin owns a Chinese aviation company with offices in Canada. The two aerospace firms would say only that they are cooperating with federal authorities. The FBI said the case files were sealed and would not comment. If true, the alleged violations would be the latest in a growing list of reported intrusions by Chinese hackers into the classified computer systems of US corporations and government agencies. In May, the Justice Department charged five Chinese military officers with cyber theft of secure information from several US companies.
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.