Did Chinese Espionage Lead to F-35 Delays?

Did Chinese cyber spying cause the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter’s cost spikes and production delays? That’s the question Pentagon budget officials are asking according to Aviation Week.

Chinese spies apparently hacked into secure conference calls and listened to meetings discussing the classified technologies aboard the jets. In particular, China may have stolen info about the F-35’s secure communications and antenna systems; leading to costly software rewrites and other redesigns to compromised parts of the plane.

The worst part, this problem isn’t just limited to the F-35, though the program’s size and the fact that it’s information systems were apparently designed without any concern for cyber espionage made it an easy target.

Anyone who has been following U.S.-China military relations and cyber warfare knows that China has been hacking into the networks of U.S. defense contractors and the Pentagon and rolling out brand new weapons like the J-20 stealth fighter.

Here’s the latest from Av Week:

Before the intrusions were discovered nearly three years ago, Chinese hackers actually sat in on what were supposed to have been secure, online program-progress conferences, the officials say.

The full extent of the connection is still being assessed, but there is consensus that escalating costs, reduced annual purchases and production stretch-outs are a reflection to some degree of the need for redesign of critical equipment. Examples include specialized communications and antenna arrays for stealth aircraft, as well as significant rewriting of software to protect systems vulnerable to hacking.

It is only recently that U.S. officials have started talking openly about how data losses are driving up the cost of military programs and creating operational vulnerabilities, although claims of a large impact on the Lockheed Martin JSF are drawing mixed responses from senior leaders. All the same, no one is saying there has been no impact.

While claiming ignorance of details about effects on the stealth strike aircraft program, James Clapper, director of national intelligence, says that Internet technology has “led to egregious pilfering of intellectual capital and property. The F-35 was clearly a target,” he confirms. “Clearly the attacks . . . whether from individuals or nation-states are a serious challenge and we need to do something about it.”

The F-35 issue was ducked as well by David Shedd, deputy director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, but not the impact of cybertheft on defense spending and operational security.

“I am not going to talk about the F-35, Shedd says. “I’d be sitting with the secretary having a counseling session. The answer is absolutely yes. The leaks have hurt our efforts in that it gives the adversary an advantage in having insights into what we’re doing. It should be clear that whether there are leaks on the technology side or that affect preemptive decision-making, they are very damaging to the intelligence community.”

Those closer to the program are less equivocal about the damage that cyberintrusions are causing the JSF program.

“You are on to something,” says a veteran combat pilot with insight into both the F-35 and the intelligence communities “There are both operational and schedule problems with the program related to the cyber data thefts. In addition, there are the costs of redressing weaknesses in the original system design and lots of software fixes.”

Here’s the kicker, the JSF’s info systems weren’t built with cyber espionage in mind, this led to a bunch of subcontractors networks being ‘totally compromised.” Shocking considering the plane was meant for the 21st Century. C’mon guys.

Defense analysts note that the JSF’s information system was not designed with cyberespionage, now called advanced persistent threat, in mind. Lockheed Martin officials now admit that subcontractors (6-8 in 2009 alone, according to company officials) were hacked and “totally compromised.” In fact, the stealth fighter program probably has the biggest “attack surface” or points that can be attacked owing to the vast number of international subcontractors.

There also is the issue of unintended consequences. The 2009 hacking was apparently not aimed at the F-35 but rather at a classified program. However, those accidental results were spectacular. Not only could intruders extract data, but they became invisible witnesses to online meetings and technical discussions, say veteran U.S. aerospace industry analysts. After the break-in was discovered, the classified program was halted and not restarted until a completely new, costly and cumbersome security system was in place.

  • blight

    If the Soviets had lasted into the modern age, the KGB would be rolling on the floor laughing their asses off.

    We’ve leaked like sieves before. But has it delayed our procurement by this much before?

  • William C.

    The government and DoD does a lot of talking about cyber security but I don’t see much being done in the way of actual effort. This is absolutely unacceptable.

    • The_Hand

      The DOD actually has finally gotten started on the problem. There is a movement underway to eliminate the sprawl where every platoon has its own independent IT department, and start centralizing IT services in larger data centers with cross-domain security and other hardening. That will greatly reduce the attack surface of the DOD cyber infrastructure in general.

      Similarly, the F-35 itself is running a secure separation kernel that at worst would limit any cyber intrusion to the one component that was compromised.

      Unfortunately, none of that includes the contractors who are actually doing the development. That’s the weak link–Lockheed and the zillions of subcontractors all doing classified work behind whatever toy firewalls they happen to have, if indeed they have firewalls.

  • Strider

    I’m beginning to think this truly is the age of transparency.

    You’ll get it no matter what one way or another.

  • LtKitty

    Really?…. I’d like to think our defense industry isn’t so outrageously silly from time to time…

  • Nick T.

    It would better for security if you just build a separate “internet” not connected to the main web, but a separate series of computers and servers only on their own network, and only linked to major bases, contractors, etc. Problem is building that in this economic environment.

    • Greg

      The network you’re talking about is basically what stuxnet got into.

      • tttuttu

        But stuxnet coud not really spy the programm it was designed to sabotage the ractor by manipulating the software

        • DhuntAUS

          I would think a network like that already existed, i mean schools and universities have them.

    • STemplar

      The problem is that defense contractors don’t put programs together with information security in mind. If they did an entire program would be developed, designed, tested, and built in the same campus. The problem with that is you’d only have the ear of one House representative and one Senator. So instead they take a boondoggle like the F35 and spread it out over almost all 50 states so they can leverage more political clout to prevent sanity from intruding on its lousy track record.

    • pedestrian

      What you are describing is called the milnet, later Defense Data Network, and today NIPRNet.

  • Skyepapa

    Is it possible that part of our counter-espionage tactics include overstating the damage of an intrusion like this? Let them listen to conversation A so they don’t drill down farther to something we really don’t want them hearing? Then rant about how the Chinese hacked an important meeting? Wish I could believe we were that buttoned up.

    • blight

      Not Lockheed. I wouldn’t put it past the CIA though.

  • Bill

    Sometimes the “Stone Age” is not that bad.

    As far as cyber security is concerned, there is no barrier that people can’t find their way around. You need to think about the physical means in which your data is being transferred in order to stop data theft.

    Serial connections are the only feasible means of doing this – Connect PC “A” with PC “B” and not anywhere else – No internet, No outside connection, no Wi-Fi… you would actually need to physically commit theft.

    • BigRick

      your right Bill, being a network guy myself, it really makes you wonder why EVERYTHING needs to be connected to the Internet, Firewalls are only speed bumps.

      All sensitive info should be kept in a completely isolated network from the corporate network i.e. you have to be there physically to access the data

      • blight

        Go intranet.

        Then again, once people decide they want to be able to stream important data between points in real time, they’re just leaving the door open.

    • pedestrian

      Yes, while I promote stand alone environment, some idiot is trying to promote a network dependent cloud computing. DoD should flush military variation down the toilet and forget about it.

  • Dfens

    Yeah, it’s the Chinese that are causing F-35 development to crawl along at a snail’s pace. It certainly is not the fact that we pay the defense contractor a profit incentive to drag out development. No, it is clearly China’s fault. Right. We have found the enemy, and it is us.

    • Cranky Observer

      Nothing to do with the cost-plus contract. Nothing to see here people; move along. Still asking questions sir? We know how to handle people like you.


    • passingby

      Excellent rebuttal. Completely agree.

      It’s a pretty smart move to blame China – US defense contractors can divert public attention on their greed and incompetence, while creating excuses to get more funding from the government.

  • crazy

    Never would have happened in the Kelly Johnson days.

    • blight

      Kelly kept everything in-house and the only outsiders plugged in were guys like Dick Bissell. However, this mode of business is long dead, and everything is teleconferences, audits and interconnectedness of data and ease of download (versus sending crates of paperwork). Any espionage group can simply scoop up everything they can get their hands on and sort it out later: in the old days, espionage depended on being able to quickly decide what was worth stealing and grabbing it. Kelly’s practice was to avoid excessive classification so that interesting things would hide in background clutter and someone going for the highest classified items would probably not find anything of interest design-wise.

  • John Moore

    I run four servers and I constantly see Hong Kong IP’s trying to get in.

    • blight

      In an age of zombienets, it’s hard to say where attacks are coming from anymore. Maybe Hong Kongers are just as bad as Americans when it comes to computer security?

    • pedestrian

      I was harassed by some IP addresses leadeing to China weeks ago, and I port scanned them back as a warning, and they came back port scanning with mini-DoS from several more IP addresses. If the government ever gave permission, I would be trigger happy to wipe their computers off the network.

      • ernoz

        It’s easier to get pardon then permission

        • Ross

          unfortunately, having seen normal chinese people on games attack other player’s systems merely to ‘win’, i would say a single person responding to such things of this nature would be futile. for every one u break down, there are dozens more that will come back at you.

          complete disregard for the rules of cyber space is simply something that goes from the basic level upwards in countries like China.

          • Hawkeye

            Agree, I don’t disagree with any of the comments in general, but the overall ‘lets be friends with China’ atmosphere is destroying our competitiveness. The underlying lack of morals/ethics within the Chinese culture is so pervasive that only a massive cyber attack would get their collective notice, like the Soviets before them, they only respect strength, and right now America’s Prez. is acting like a coward towards them.

          • justsaying

            Morals and ethics were a huge part of Chinese culture, until the British came in with complete disregard for all of that, by flooding the market with opium illegally. Now the Chinese play by western rules – no rules.

    • passingby

      The US is still the largest cyber security threat in the world. Many of reported cyber attacks may very well have been done by CIA/MI6/Mossad operatives via poorly guarded networks in China/Hong Kong/Korea etc.

      The US has been a leader in false flag operations after Britain’s decline.

  • wmcritter

    How many acts of war must China commit against us before we do something about it?

    • DanS

      Well considering they haven’t yet, your question is a touch premature. Its espionage dude, lighten up or perhaps we should carpet bomb Tel Aviv because of their spying on us? Or maybe the UK should order an arty strike on Lakenheath because we spy on the UK? Should we sink a Japanese destroyer or two because they spy on us? Grow up.

    • Buzzy

      @ DanS

      So once we grow up we can’t protect ourselves and our possesions?

    • Storm

      Yeah and I always hear about US Specia lForces and spies are molesting countries like China at will all the time. You don’t think that’s an act of war?

      • Warfighter

        You watch too many movies.

    • TMB

      The problem with calling this an act of war is proof. Any decent cyber attacker can claim plausible deniability due to zombies (using someone else’s computer as a proxy to attack someone). The victim of the attack also has to disclose how they discovered the attack which could compromise intelligence sources.

      DanS has a point that espionage has always been one of those “we all do it, so don’t get upset” situations. While I would love to see every military server in China fall victim to a power surge tomorrow, if everyone decided to launch an airstrike every time there was a hack or a spy talked to someone it would be WWIII. Hell, between us and China if we started an all out cyber war we could probably shut down the world if we put enough resources into it. What good would that do?

      • DanS

        Exactly, we are never going to war with one of our largest trading partners and someone who holds 8% of our national debt. Particularly when it would absolutely cripple our economy. The impact would cripple us, as there isn’t another source available for all the goods we need on a daily basis. The scale of Chinese production resources is amazing. Its something we could never make up for within North and South America let alone the US. All this blathering about a future war is several pay-grades below where the actual decisions get made. Or its done to jin up donations to Heritage or AEI.

        • Mike

          Easy fix. Every time we prove that the Chicom’s hack into one of our systems, we tally up the cost to repair the damage and the cost to modify the system they hacked. Then you deduct that amount from what we owe them, thus reducing our national debt. Of course, that makes to much sense, so it will never happen.

          • itfunk

            And then the Chinese just laugh and say they want be buying any bonds next month and we have to go our knees again and beg them to give us another chance.

          • CristoCano

            Exactly spot on.

    • jack

      I was waiting for someone to ask this question, but now that obama is in charge, probably nothing will be done sabout it. Stupid on our part to start with not protecting ourself fromsomething like this.

    • passingby

      The real question is how many acts of war must the US commit against China before the Chinese do something about it.

      • Mark

        dumb = you

    • Dubya

      Where have you been? The U.S. navy and drones has been along China’s coastline routinely scanning and trying to crack into China for decades.

  • RCDC

    Possible. Now we need to reboot the price to $ 1.

  • I think they’re releasing this info to make us feel more “protected” when they cram SOPA type law down our throats.

  • RCDC

    Just don’t hook the server to the internet. Use firewall, secured router and secured satellite cable from IBM.

    • blight

      satellite cable…?

      • Josh

        Yeah blight, it goes all the way up into space, super high tech!

        • blight

          Tethered to the space elevator where we drop our tungsten death rods

      • RCDC

        Its IBM century old tech. Saudi Arabia or one uses IBM tech using Satellite networking with UNIX as there operating software, used on their servers and networking. I work in that part of the world in the 90’s.

      • RCDC

        Its IBM century old tech. Saudi Arabia for one uses IBM tech using Satellite networking with UNIX as there operating software, used on their servers and networking. I work in that part of the world in the 90’s.

  • BB5

    Time to pull the plug on these contractors and subcontractors. None of them should have internet access anywhere. No such thing as secure internet. Also time to fine the hell out that taxpayer leech LM for being cheap, incompetent and lazy.

  • Would it be so hard to keep everything offline?
    Whats wrong with Snail mail?
    Is flying so expensive they cannot get together?
    Granted, this would slow things down, but it would also make the aircraft not an open book…..

    • passingby

      Yes, it’s pretty hard to keep everything offline in a collaborative project like the F-35.

      What’s wrong with Snail mail? It’s too slow and insecure.

      Yes, it’s too expensive to be flying back and forth for meetings.

      No, it would slow things down and still make it an open book. Money can buy anything.

  • John Moore

    Whats wrong with Snail mail?

    Kinda saiz it all right there imagine the delays with snail mail.

  • Tad

    If the DoD is so serious about cyber security, why do they run almost solely Windows, Outlook, etc…?

    • blight

      It’s not like Mac or Linux is inherently safer, especially when a nation-state puts its mind to discovering exploits and backdoors to penetrate your systems.

    • Belesari

      The reasons Linux and Mac dont have as big of a record of hacking is logical and obvious. Most things run on windows. So most hacks are to windows.

      This also means that Linux and Mac’s arent as evolved to emphasis security. So in the end faced with a similar more determined hacker could actually be easier to get into.

      • blight

        if !windows

      • joe

        Also – 90% of businesses use them. Hence 90% of the files sent to the DoD will be .doc, .docx, .xls, .ppt, etc. Hence – office.

    • pedestrian

      You are not authorized to know that answer.

    • Ryan

      Microsoft operating systems are the only ones where you can truly centrally control settings, security and auditing. If you deploy linux or Mac then you are usually in the dark as an admin and have very little idea if those systems comply with your security policies. Don’t assume Windows is to blame. The attacks could have different vectors. They could be through the Cisco gear that was manufactured in China where they installed their own back door before shipment. They could have attacked an Apache server running an older revision, or a Windows or Mac end user system. Everything has holes. Opening the systems up to the internet is the real problem. Allowing stuff manufactured in China into our networks is the other problem.

      They have us by the balls, you just don’t know it.

  • Lance

    While yes the Chinese could be trying to hack into US aircraft makers databases I doubt all could but related to the many delays in this troubled planes development. A big problem is that this is a international program so some allied nations have access to materials and lacks security to keep them confidential.

    Overall the J-20 was based on Russian technology NOT American a F-35 is still ahead of a J-20 by light years.

  • blight

    That said, it is possible that attempted theft by the PRC and causing these types of delays could be their mission in the first place. Hard to say that they aren’t winning the longer JSF is delayed.

    If they wanted immediate deliverables, hack P&W and GE and grab engine designs, then prioritize reproducing next-gen American engines. Why sleep at night?

  • Ben

    We SERIOUSLY need to retaliate for Chinese espionage and cyberattacks. This kind of behavior cannot go on tolerated like this. The United States NEEDS to respond with economic penalties, cyber-retaliation of its own, and other punitive measures.

    • Blur

      Like the US doesn’t spy?

    • TMB

      Ben, for all you know we’re already doing it. We’re certainly not going to advertise if we’re conducting cyber attacks on someone.

  • Greg Latiak

    Nothing connected to the Internet can ever be secure. We need to stop deluding ourselves that we are so clever that we can keep other, equally clever, people from hacking into our stuff. Nothing is more secure than NO CONNECTION (except maybe powered off…). When will these dweebs figure this out? We are not that smart, despite what we tell ourselves…

  • Black Owl

    Wow… and thought the F-35 design itself was a problem. This takes things to a whole new level. Our security is seriously fucked up right now. However, I still believe it’s true that we are getting more information on the Chinese than they are on us. The question is who is really benefiting from the espionage? We certainly have a lot more to steal in the area of advanced technology. I doubt we can acquire anything new from the Chinese as they exist now.

  • TH1

    How about this:

    You steal our stuff, we stop all business with you…

    and and by the way, you can forget about getting your loan to taxpayers paid back.. consider the money you borrowed the US a DOWNPAYMENT on the secret stuff you stole!

  • Kooch

    Its time to take the kiddie gloves off when dealing with China

    • JRL

      The USG would have to ask Walmart for permission first.

      And BTW, isn’t that where you got those fancy ‘made in Shanghai’ “kiddie” gloves in the first place?

    • passingby

      The US tried it twice – in the Korean War and the Vietnam, when China was still struggling economically and technologically following WWII and a Civil War.

      The US barely fought to a tie in Korea, and utterly lost in Vietnam and got kicked out.

      China now owns a big chunk of US govt debt, has a bigger industrial base as well as larger financial and human resources. You think the US can fare better than it did in Vietnam?????

  • JRL

    If they’re smart, the powers that be are only pretending to keep the almighty JSF tech secret. Because with any luck, the ChiComs will get sucked into swallowing it whole, and then destroy THEIR OWN air force and military budget by trying to copy the three-way cluster**** called the F-35.

    Once that’s dopne, the DoD can finally reveal that its real name is not ‘Lightning II, but ‘Trojan Horse II”…

    • Dfens

      Perhaps since it renders impotent any country who relies on it, the name should be shortened to simply “Trojan II”?

      • blight

        The prophylactic effect is preventing an air force from being born.

        • Dfens

          So far, only our own. If only we could get the Chicoms to copy our latest crap. Hell, for years now every time we get a security briefing the usual joke is, “if only the Russians and Chinese would steal what we do now… They’d never recover.”

    • passingby

      totally agree. Even some US engineers call both the F-22 and F-35 expensive junks.

    • passingby

      I’d like to add that it’s been my belief that the US had employed a similar strategy in the past – the Apollo project – fake manned moon landings. It will be interesting to see if the US has actually spent hundreds of billions on F-22 and F-35, or redirected the funds to some secret projects.

      Right now neither the F-22 nor the F-35 can fight a real air war. But then neither Russia nor China seem to have fielded any high-end fighter jets or bombers in any significant numbers.

      The real drama, in my opinion, is going to be a grand-scale economic warfare centered on the US dollar.

      • Dfens

        It would be nice if that were true, but sadly neither of your conspiracy theories are correct. The reality is, we wasted nearly 3 decades developing the F-22 only to build 180, we will waste another 3 decades, if not more, developing the F-35, and the failure that is NASA has not been able to repeat the success of the Apollo program in 4 decades. Now the only thing NASA pioneers is the use of the “cost plus award fee” contract. They are the ones who started it all.

        • passingby

          The problem with the F-22 isn’t that fewer than 200 have been built. It’s that the plane can’t do what it’s purported to be able to do. Those 180+ Raptors aren’t even fully flight-worthy.

          Similar problem with the F-35. It’s hard to fathom that after 3 decades and hundreds of billions, the US is nowhere close to fielding a competent successor to the legacy teen-series jets.

          Equally hard to fathom is that NASA managed to land a man on the moon in just 8 years starting from scratch but somehow can’t reproduce the rocket used in the Apollo project for the Space Shuttle program – starting from scratch again to produce a vehicle with inferior lifting power but costing several times more???

          That on top of a wide selection of provably faked photos and videos, along with some leaked internal documentaries, no wonder so many engineers around the world have rejected NASA’s manned lunar landing claims.

          • blight

            I imagine building the rockets and boosters of the Saturn V (and we still have an extra Saturn V left over!) would not be hard, but our decisionmaking about how to redo the command module and the LEM are going to be the money-killers.

            NASA’s budget was likely ginormous at the time; that said America had enough money to fund CIA black projects, Great Society, NASA, the Cold War in Europe and the Vietnam War all at the same time. Simply pointing to America’s past and assuming “we can do it again” doesn’t always jive.

            At it’s peak, NASA’s budget was 32 billion in 2007 dollars. It was 16B in 2007. Working on finding historical employment numbers at the moment, plus subcontractors. The other problem is that the aerospace industry no longer has as many employees with space program experience. The men who worked at Rockwell (Command Module) and Grumman (LEM) are gone, as are their respective companies.

  • Kski

    Thank god this ani’t the Cold War with our pal Ivan. But this is a new kind of Cold War with the PRC. They coutinually pull crap like this year in and year out. Honestly I hope we are getting more from the PRC than they are from us. But ending buissness with the PRC is not a great idea. They’ll be able to weather the economic backlash better than we the USA will. For the time being lets wait till they do something really stupid. Like being coaught selling Iran missiles. Or becoming more aggressive in the South China Sea, as in firing on someone allied with us. So in the end our options aren’t at all open. So for now, FEAR THE REDS!

  • lazrtx

    China doesn’t need to hack into anything. With dems running the show all they have to do is name their price and it will be handed to them.

  • Jeff

    Oh come on, this smacks of desperation, grasping at the last flimsy straw of spurious excuses to justify a monumental fuckup. FAIL.

  • FtD

    so your wife’s taking a bath and not closed the windows and your neighbor’s enjoying the show so you gonna grab your double barrel and shoot him? act of war lol…..

  • mpower6428

    is anybody getting the distinct impression that the metric of future world dominence won’t be how many missiles or tanks, or how large a GDP or industrial base is but… how many “girls with dragon tatooes” a country can educate and support…?

  • HWJ

    The rule of thumb:
    If you don’t know who to blame, blame China.

  • Jon

    This is the dumbest story ever. Lets build a shitty plane and blame it on the Chinese. Brilliant.

  • Rob

    Chinese have already won the war. Entire areas of mostly Chinese in every major town globally. They say even, Canada, will someday soon have a Chinese majority.

    They will never war us simply for that fact. They just prepare for if Korea kicks off & to keep competitive in the arms market.

    As I see it they are smart, they prepare for the worst case scenarios. We haven’t & hope we start soon.

    • Jayson

      Muslim is further ahead on that front of your theory than China.

    • Chimp

      We have always been at war with Eastasia.

    • Thomas L. Nielsen

      “They say even, Canada, will someday soon have a Chinese majority”.

      “They” being who, in this case?

      And what does “have a Chinese majority” mean? More Chinese living in Canada than actual Canadians (however you define that term)? Well, Canada would have the space for them, I suppose, but it still seems a tad unlikely….

      Regards & all,

      Thomas L. Nielsen

      • blight

        “Entire areas of mostly Chinese in every major town globally”

        How conspiratorial! There are huge areas in Canada where only Canadians live. Bow in fear when people of like culture congregate.

    • Islam and China will both implode due to factors ingrained in their fundamental structures. Look at the barbarism of both cultures in the areas of basic human rights and decency. Both populations simply look the other way or approve of the public hangings and mutilations, women as slaves, and the One Child Policy… I dont really need to elaborate further. What is the Chinese ratio of men to women, like 10 to 1 now?

      • You are myopic. What the west terms as human rights, they term decadence and societal decay. Considering the incredibly social and economical slide downwards that western Europe and USA have undergone the last 50 years, I am not sure they are wrong.

    • Rabbit

      Oooooooh scary. Because all people of Chinese descent are just deep cover agents for the motherland, right?

      • RTFA

        Rabbit – You are missing the point. Everyone not like him is a threat. People from different countries (China, do you want to bet on Mexico too), with different religions, etc … it must be scary to walk down the street!


    The F-35 is an extremely complex jet with all sorts of sensors and an extremely complex avionics suite as one might think it might be simply too much as they should essentially build a F-35 with the basics before adding in the avionics and more sophisticated avionics in later versions as this would allow the cost of the F-35 to be built for a lower cost like the F-16 which has a starting price of about $75-80M while the top tier variant with things like the AESA radar is almost $150M.

  • Marcellus Hambrick

    This is okay with a lot if liberals. They dont like the fact that the US is the only superpower and want someone like the Chinese to match us economically and militarily.

  • RCDC

    This happens because we all have computer parts, software, networking , radar boosters and etc all made in China. Think about it. Where did it go wrong?

  • Trooper2

    I agree – espionage is just part of the game. But its too easy to just blame it on the ignorance or an unwillingness of the contractors to prevent cyber attacks. Even with all of the technical resources, trained and dedicated people, and command authority available, the DoD gets hacked, too.

  • passingby

    It’s a blame game gimmick that serves two purposes at once – (a) deflect responsibility for various failures on the part of the contractors such as severe budget overruns and delays in development, and (b) justify demands for additional funding to the tune of tens of billions to fatten the pockets of the contractors.

    The US military industrial complex will further benefits by hyping up the so-called China threat as part of their propaganda campaign to justify further theft of US taxpayers money through extraordinarily wasteful spending of various military programs.

    Whenever a news story comes out that has the consequence of justifying additional military spending while blaming foreign countries for espionage, it’s time for heightened vigilance, suspicion, and scrutiny.

    I wouldn’t take the report at face value. The US military and defense contractors have been persistent liars over the past 4-5 decades to say the least.

    I think they want more money and divert media’s attention of their own failures.

  • Alex Mason

    The US deliberately leaked details of the F-35 to the Chinese … how do you think the Chinese developed a stealth fighter that looks similar to the F-22 ? Once the Chinese come up with a reverse engineered variant of the F-35, Lockheed will use its lobby in the White House to push sales of additional squadrons of the F-35

  • passingby

    It’s all about money. They want to squeeze US taxpayers dry by creating imaginary / false enemies and trick the US voters and the government into spending more on new weaponry.

    The modus operanti never gets old. The military industrial complex has more than enough money to wage propaganda campaigns via the mainstream media, and buy off corrupt politicians in Congress to give them trillions after trillions in outrageously priced products and services.

    That’s why they have been funding Mitt Romney and his ilk, while sabotaging Ron Paul, even if it means flagrant fraud.

    • The only trillions going out the window is for the elderly, welfare queens and future Obama Voterz of America. The elephant in the room. Compared to this, defense spending is a teddy bear.

      • passingby

        That’s a lie. First of all, the US government set up the Social Security program a long time ago for retirees and has been taking contributions to the program. When incoming funds outpaced outgoing payments, the US government had the audacity of secretly transferred the surplus meant for future payments to fund its federal budget deficits, mostly on ultra-expensive criminal military operations around the world and ultra-expensive weaponry. Now the baby-boomer generation will not be getting the SS payments the government promised because there is not sufficient fund in the account to pay them. You have no clue what is going on inside the US government. Obama, Clinton, GW Bush, GH Bush, Reagan, … they are all puppets of the military industrial complex. Same for the new crop of wannabe presidents – Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Buchmann, Palin, … they are all scums. Ron Paul is the only Rep. candidate showing some wisdom, conscience and backbone.

        • crackedlenses

          Yup; the evil military is out to take over the world, just like in Avatar. Tremble in fear and vote for Ron Paul, ye cynics of the world!……

  • passingby

    edit: middle paragraph – and buy off corrupt politicians in Congress to give them trillions after trillions in exchange for outrageously priced products and services.

  • PolicyWonk

    The Editors of Proceedings, Defense Weekly., and Av Week published an editorial years ago foreseeing problems like this. They were imploring the Reagan Administration to restore educational funding, student loans, and Pell Grant programs. Without our own (American) educated students, we would be reliant on outsiders to procure, manage, and design these complex systems. They all considered it to be a matter of national security, and now we get to reap the rewards (if you can call it that) of an uneducated society. If you think education is expensive: try ignorance.

  • SlumLord

    I was in a unclassified JSF briefing in April 2008 where I later found out that the info presented was classified. I sent a “challenge” notice through my security bubbas.
    The response back was effectively, “We are JSF, we can do what we want. F. U..”

    • Thomas L. Nielsen

      “The response back was effectively, “We are JSF, we can do what we want. F. U..” ”

      Well, at least they did’t try to blame the Chinese for that one as well (“Well, sir, we believe that a secret, Chinese cyber warfare unit hacked into our presentation and covertly inserted classified data. Really! That’s what we think happened!”).

      Regards & all,

      Thomas L. Nielsen

  • duuude

    Lockheed Martin is either making a scapegoat out of China because it cannot manage this project’s costs anymore, or it is actually in cahoots with our soon to be Oriental overlords in bankrupting Uncle Sam. Either way, make LM pay!!!

    • Riceball

      Asian, not Oriental. Oriental is a type of rug, not a people.

    • passingby

      Lockheed Martin IS part of the US government, just like Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan. They make taxpayers pay. Not the other way around.

      • Dfens

        No, if they were part of the government, then their CEOs couldn’t make 60 or 70 times more than the president of the US.

  • Robert

    China is evil and our enemy. War will come. God help us. We will need every nuke we have to scrub this garage from the earth.

    • Thomas L. Nielsen

      “War will come” – it will with that attitude, certainly.

      “God help us” – the Chinese have gods too, you know. Just sayin’.

      “We will need every nuke we have to scrub this garage from the earth” – Garage? You’re proposing to nuke sombody’s garage?

      Regards & all,

      Thomas L. Nielsen

      • itfunk

        I think his point is that he lives in a dirty garage.

      • Inst

        Chinese elites have traditionally been atheists. I’m not kidding. In a strict orthodox neo-Confucian interpretation of the world, they stick to Confucius’s line never to talk about the gods and spirits. That’s because according to them, they don’t exist.

        For the historical Chinese state, based on a secular ideology of social control, religion has always been a pest that leads to annoying episodes of cult-lead revolt. We have Scientology making oodles of money off a pseudo-science. They have the Heavenly Kingdom leading to the world’s deadliest civil war.

        • Thomas L. Nielsen

          “….leading to the world’s deadliest civil war.”

          Like I said: Gods.

          Regards & all,

          Thomas L. Nielsen

          PS: At least Sun Wu Kong (the old Chinese monkey god) was kinda fun. Not like some of the others (*shudder*).

  • Olrik

    You have no money for new airplanes anyways, so don’t worry, at least somebody is using the technology…

  • B Fawbush

    Why dont they justeet face to face/ Robert DeNiro prefered it in GoodFellas so people didnt WIRE INTO THEIR CONVERATIONS. we should be having face to face meetings about this top secret stuff until we get our cyber security up to requirements

  • itfunk

    Blaming the Chinese now for fundamental design flaws – it’s beyond laughable its just pathetic.

  • kim

    Somehow I do miss military personnel commenting more in this forum. When occasionally they identify themselves as such, it’s hard not to notice how the the quality of the comment is above average (including – notably – the spelling). Reading the comments from all the armchair warriors below is often a challenge, though.

  • Infidel4LIFE

    We should slap a huge tariff on all their export goods they are killing us in every area and not many seem to care. The JSF will be a helluva warplane..one day. Disgrace.

    • Dfens

      I agree with you on the tariffs, but not on the F-35. The only version worth keeping is the VTOL version, which will probably be the first one cancelled. Even it has some fundamental problems like you don’t want to be sitting in the pilot’s seat when that lift fan explodes and cuts you into top and bottom halves.

      • crackedlenses

        Kind of like being afraid of the wings on your F-14 shearing off during a dog fight? (OK I’m stumping for a fight ;)……….

  • Thomas L. Nielsen

    “You’re trying to branch out further by taking on manned lunar landing.”
    I’m trying to branch out? It surely has not escaped your vastly superior intellect that in your post above (1 day ago by this time) you initially brought up your belief in a moon landing hoax. What we have done since then is simply refer back to this original statement.

    Regards & all,

    Thomas L. Nielsen

  • CristoCano

    Its not so hard to incorporate a tight security framework into these projects from the very beginning. This is an expensive lesson painfully learned. Hopefully from now on, any new technology and systems developed in the future will have cyber espionage countermeasures in place at every level.

    • blight_

      Considering even Verisign, one of the first names in internet security was cracked; it suggests that simply slapping on more “espionage countermeasures” is not a magic panacea. It’s more about policing our external security, more than putting in security on every level. It’s cost and time prohibitive.

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