Chinese national pleads guilty in California to hacking Boeing C-17 data
A Chinese businessman pleaded guilty this week to conspiracy to hack computer networks of U.S. defense contractors and obtain sensitive data on military aircraft that was passed on to China.
Su Bin, also known as Stephen Su and Stephen Subin, reached a plea deal in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles on Tuesday, following a 2014 criminal complaint and later indictment for illegal computer hacking and theft and transfer of export-controlled data.
The plea deal includes an admission by Su of conspiring with two people in China from October 2008 to March 2014 who broke into U.S. computer networks at Boeing and other defense companies.
The hackers stole large amounts of military information that was supplied to China, according to court documents and a statement by the U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California.
The case is the first successful prosecution of a Chinese hacker for stealing defense secrets. It follows the indictment of five People’s Liberation Army hackers in Pennsylvania in May 2014. The five officers remain in China.
Su was described in court documents as a wealthy Chinese businessman who owned a Beijing aviation technology company called Lode Tech. He was a permanent resident of Canada and owned homes in that country and China.
According to court papers, Su worked with two Chinese hackers who “engaged in clandestine computer and network reconnaissance and intrusion operations.” The two Chinese agents were not identified but were linked to “multiple organizations” in China, according to the court papers.
Michelle Van Cleave, former national counterintelligence executive within the office of the director of national intelligence, said the Su prosecution was a success but represents “a drop in a bucket that keeps getting bigger every year.”
“The Chinese have a sophisticated network of tens of thousands human spies and computer hackers targeting American military and technological secrets,” she said. “What they can’t acquire legally through trade, or creatively through mergers and acquisitions, they are prepared to steal. And it’s getting harder all the time to stop them.”
Full article: China Hacked F-22, F-35 Stealth Jet Secrets (Washington Free Beacon)