Feeds

US forced to redesign secret weapon after cyber breach

'Cyber Pilot' called in following backdoor penetration

Build a business case: developing custom apps

The United States may be forced to redesign an unnamed new weapon system now under development – because tech specs and plans were stolen from a defence contractor's databases.

Reuters and Aviation Week report on the revelation by US Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn, made in the course of announcing beefed-up cyber defences intended to put a stop to such intrusions. Lynn said that a "foreign intelligence service" was behind the theft of the secret weapon's blueprints in March – apparently amounting to 24,000 files – but declined to specify which nation had carried out the attack.

"It is a significant concern that over the past decade, terabytes of data have been extracted by foreign intruders from corporate networks of defense companies," Lynn said. "In a single intrusion this March, 24,000 files were taken."

According to the secretary, stolen data lifted from the Pentagon and its contractors ranges from specs for small parts up to aircraft avionics, surveillance technologies, satellite communications systems and network security protocols.

In response, he said, the Defense and Homeland Security departments have established a pilot program with a handful of defence companies that helps protect the corporate networks.

"In this Defense Industrial Base – or DIB – Cyber Pilot," Lynn said, "classified threat intelligence is shared with defense contractors or their commercial Internet service providers, along with the know-how to employ it in network defense."

The UK is also known to be suffering serious defence-related data losses, with many analysts tending to point the finger at China – while acknowledging the difficulty of really knowing who has initiated a cyber attack.

A British source very much in a position to know has told the Register off the record that "an entire jet engine" design was stolen in recent times from its UK manufacturer before security measures were stepped up.

A Pentagon press-service report on Lynn's speech can be read here. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Delaware pair nabbed for getting saucy atop Mexican eatery
Burrito meets soft taco in alleged rooftop romp outrage
LightSquared backer sues FCC over spectrum shindy
Why, we might as well have been buying AIR
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.