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Report: Hackers break into Pentagon's fighter jet project

They downloaded terabytes of data on a $300B stealth fighter

By Sumner Lemon
April 21, 2009 12:00 PM ET

IDG News Service - Hackers broke into U.S. Department of Defense computers and downloaded terabytes of data containing design information about the Joint Strike Fighter, a $300 billion stealth fighter currently under development, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The stolen files all relate to the design of the Joint Strike Fighter and its electronic systems, the Journal reported, saying they could be used to help defend against the jet.

However, the most sensitive files were not compromised because they are stored on computers that are not connected to the Internet, the report said.

The reported attack raised more questions than it answered.

For example, the report did not say how attackers managed to download terabytes of data before being discovered. A single terabyte can take up to several weeks to download over a relatively fast data connection, such as a Digital Subscriber Line or cable modem.

The report also suggested that China could be behind the stolen data, noting that investigators believe the attack originated in China. However, it said the exact identities of the people behind the attack had not been established.

Reprinted with permission from IDG.net. Story copyright 2014 International Data Group. All rights reserved.
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