DSB Report Annex Details China Espionage

The Defense Science Board, in a confidential annex to a report issued earlier this year, found that Chinese hackers have engaged in a wide range of espionage activities targeting US aerospace and defense firms and have hacked into designs for more than a dozen major weapons programs, reported the Washington Post. Among the weapons programs hacked or compromised by “cyber exploitation” are the F-35 strike fighter, V-22 tiltrotor aircraft, C-17 transport, RQ-4 Global Hawk remotely piloted aircraft, AMRAAM missile, PAC-3 missile, the THAAD missile defense system, according to the newspaper’s May 27 report. The public version of the DSB report, dated January, warned that the Pentagon was not ready to engage in a full-scale cyber conflict, but avoided charging the Chinese government with orchestrating the cyber attacks. Conversely, the most recent edition of the Pentagon’s annual report on China’s military, released earlier this month, charged the Chinese government specifically with hacking and cyber espionage attacks. US officials have charged China with using espionage to close the military capability gap with the United States.