A Chinese Businessman has received 46 months in prison for participating in a conspiracy that lasted for a year. The man stole classified information by hacking into a computer network of a major US defense contractor. Then, he stole sensitive military information and sent the data to China.
Su Bin, who worked in aviation and aerospace, stole data about the C-17 strategic transport aircraft and other military fighter jets, according to a statement released by the Justice Department.
Su assisted Chinese hackers to illegally access and steal designs for last generation military aircraft, which are important to national defense. Assistant Attorney General John Carlin said that these activities have serious consequences for the national security of America and the safety of the armed forces.
Su would email hackers with instructions regarding what companies, technologies or individuals were supposed to be targeted. One of the co-conspirators would email Su with folders showing the data accessed and then Su would identify which files should be stolen.
Among the companies targeted was aeronautical Boeing corporation. This was part of a plot by Chinese officials to obtain access to designs of military airships. Su worked with two co-conspirators and traveled between the US and China 10 times, between 2008 and 2014.
Such attempt was not uncommon in the past, and federal officials now view hacking as a major threat to national security. He would also translate the classified information in Chinese and give reports on the value of the data. He was arrested in Canada in 2014, and was sent to the US in February of this year. In March, he pleaded guilty.
Chinese officials denied that the Chinese gov. was involved in the operation. Chinese Foreign Ministry said that the US „is acting on hearsay” and has hidden motives.
The two co-conspirators were unidentified, as they are based in China. Aside from the four-year prison term, a US district court judge ordered Su to pay a $10000 fine.
Su was the owner of a company called Lode. He admitted to telling his conspirators, who were Chinese military officers who to target. He also said he wanted to sell the information that was obtained through illicit means.
Other such cases of cyber crimes were associated with the Iranian government, which attacked public websites of American banks, between 2011 and 2013.
Image Source – Wikipedia