- Lockheed Martin said it was being targeted by hackers from China
- Company is building new Joint Strike Fighter which is ‘invisible’ on radar
- Team of ‘young geeks’ battling against cyber attacks at British base
Chinese cyber spies have been caught trying to steal the secrets of Britain’s most sophisticated combat jet, The Mail on Sunday has learned.
A covert unit within the Chinese Army has been using highly sophisticated cyber weapons in a desperate attempt to acquire classified information about the stealthy Joint Strike Fighter (JSF).
Manufacturer Lockheed Martin claims it is thwarting tens of thousands of computer attacks every week to keep secure secrets about the jet – due to be in service with the Royal Navy and RAF by 2018.
The defence giant has recruited some of Britain’s brightest ‘young geeks’ to help thwart the attacks, based in a secure area of the company’s counter-cyber headquarters in Farnborough, Hampshire.
A source said: ‘We have recruited a very strong team of young computer engineers who are basically experts in counter-cyber. They are effectively all geeks and spend much of their time war-gaming against the Chinese.
‘They allow the foreign hackers through the first few security levels and then can work out, through a process of reverse engineering, where the attacks are originating.
‘It’s the same country every time – China. The Chinese try to disguise what they are doing but their guys are not as good as ours.’