Snowden Documents: Hackers Stole Pentagon F-35 Fighter Jet Secrets

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Documents released by Edward Snowden allege to show that the design of China’s Shenyang J-31 fighter jet was stolen by hackers from the Pentagon.

Chinese hackers stole “many terabytes” of data about America’s F-35 stealth fighter jet and other programs, according to newly released documents by former NSA contractor and whistle-blower Edward Snowden.

New York Daily News reports:

The stolen materials, taken from the Pentagon and contractor Lockheed Martin Corp., included radar designs and engine schematics used in the crown jewel of American military aircraft.

The Pentagon had previously admitted hackers were able to breach governmental networks, but never pointed to China and claimed that no classified information was taken.

China’s version of the stealth fighter, the newly released J-31, has similar design elements, defense experts told Reuters.

But Chinese authorities vehemently denied the hack claim, despite the document’s printed Sunday in German outlet, Der Spiegel.

The so-called evidence that has been used to launch groundless accusations against China is completely unjustified,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters.

“According to the materials presented by the relevant person, some countries themselves have disgraceful records on cyber-security,” Hong added.

Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II
Shenyang J-31

Snowden has been holed up in Russia since he released thousands of documents pertaining to spying by the National Security Agency he collected during years of working at the agency.

Lockheed Martin has been in the midst of a $399 billion project to build F-35s for the U.S. military and its allies, but has been hit by delays and budget issues.

China, meanwhile, boasted of its J-31 twin-engine fighter jet when the aircraft was unveiled late last year, prompting the aircraft’s maker to claim the jet could “take down” America’s F-35.

China is in the midst of a push to toughen up its massive 2.3 million-person armed forces on the Asian, and global, stage.

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