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China Denies Hacking Into US Fighter Jet Project

April 24, 2009

In an official statement on Thursday, representatives of the Chinese government insisted that they stand behind the global community in its opposition to all forms of Internet crime.  The announcement comes on the heels of U.S. media reports that Chinese tech-spies had attempted to hack into the computer system carrying information on a newly developed U.S. fighter jet.

“Some people keep making up stories.  I don’t know what their intentions are,” said Jiang Yu, a spokeswoman for the Chinese foreign ministry.  “We resolutely oppose and crackdown on cyber crimes; including hacking.”

Jiang’s comments came in response to a report in the Wall Street Journal that digital spies had attempted to hack into the plans for the Defense Department’s $300 billion Joint Strike Fighter project.

Quoting former U.S. officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity, the newspaper reported that all indications pointed to hackers of Chinese origins.  Pentagon officials added that China has been working diligently in recent years to beef-up their cyber-warfare arsenal.

The newspaper also stated that hackers had apparently accessed the classified information through computer networks used by non-governmental contractors who are helping to build the new F-35 fighter jet.

Officials at the U.S. Defense Department assured the media that despite the security breech, the integrity of the newly developed technology had not been compromised.

The Wall Street Journal’s report is just one of a slew of similar reports released in U.S. media outlets in the last year that have warned of the impending threat of a Chinese cyber-assault.

Thus far, China has vigorously denied all such allegations.

Image Caption: The X-35, Joint Strike Fighter from Lockheed Martin nears completion of flight testing at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., in 2001. The JSF is being built in three variants: a conventional take-off and landing aircraft (CTOL) for the US Air Force; a carrier based variant (CV) for the US Navy; and a short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft for the US Marine Corps and the Royal Navy. (US Air Force)

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