Friday, July 15, 2016

China's Cyber-Piracy

"Over the course of years, this defendant sought to undermine the national security of the United States by seeking out information that would benefit a foreign government and providing that country with information it had never before seen."
U.S. prosecutor Eileen Decker, Los Angeles federal court

"[The theft of information on the C-17 aircraft made] important contributions to our national defence scientific research development."
Chinese military officer -- intercepted email
Perhaps it's difficult to be innocuous when someone is in a trade linking him with insider information and the potential to successfully guide the actions of spies eager to award themselves by stealth the gift of secret and proprietary, scientific and mechanical data that would be most useful to the military of another country which has made it their habit to pursue an agenda of industrial and military espionage as a method of cutting corners, enabling them to produce high-value, state-of-the-art jet planes, for example without having to go to the trouble of designing and engineering the product themselves.

Canadian Forces members look at the Lockheed Martin Joint Strike Fighter, F-35 Lighting II in a hanger in Ottawa Friday July 16, 2010. National Post
A Canadian resident of Chinese extraction now faces four years in prison as judicial punishment for having been found guilty of helping to steal confidential information relating to an American military transport aircraft, and the F-35 stealth fighter jet. It wasn't only the United States that Su Bin focused on but other countries' warplanes as well. It just happens to be the United States that discovered his focus and held him to trial.

Even as the Chinese government denies involvement and states its plan to crack down on such types of cyber espionage.
"We are willing to show our gratitude and respect for his service to our country."
"On the secret battlefield without gunpowder, China needs special agents to gather secrets from the U.S."
Global Times editorial, Chinese newspaper with government ties
Mr. Su's role had been to identify technical data suitable for hackers who were members of the People's Liberation Army in China to carry through in their conspiracy to commit their theft. Mr. Su operates an aerospace company which has offices in British Columbia. When accused, he pleaded guilty to the charges that he aided in stealing information on the U.S. F-22 and F-35 stealth fighters, along with Boeing's C-17 transport aircraft, used by the Canadian Air Force.

Ian KucerakIan Kucerak    A Royal Canadian Air Force C-177 Globemaster III cargo aircraft flies over the city's Glenora neighbourhood in Edmonton, Alta., on Wednesday March 16, 2016

Mr. Su, known also as Steven Stubin, reached an agreement with prosecutors where he admitted to conspiring with two hackers in China, helping them to gain unauthorized access to computer networks in the United States where he travelled on ten occasions during October 2008 and March 2014. A Canadian court had ordered his extradition to the United States after he was arrested in Richmond, British Columbia.

The three years plus ten months' incarceration w3as augmented by a fine of ten thousand dollars. What happens to his aviation firm Lode Technology, is a matter for conjecture. Though because the company has locations throughout China, aside from the one in Canada, it isn't likely the business will collapse.

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