Law Enforcement

Chinese businessman sentenced in military contractor hack

c17 banking - Shutterstock image

A Chinese national was sentenced for his part in a conspiracy to sell technical military information, including information on the C-17 transport aircraft (above). Photo credit: Peterfz30 / Shutterstock.

Fifty-one-year-old Su Bin, owner of Chinese aviation firm Lode-Tech, was sentenced to 46 months in prison for his part in a conspiracy to sell military technical data stolen from U.S. defense firms to state-owned companies in China, according to the Justice Department.

Su, a citizen of the People's Republic of China, was sentenced July 13 in a federal court in California.

Investigators caught up with Su's activity in 2014. The Justice Department alleged that Su, who was living in Canada at the time, stole aircraft and weapons systems data from major U.S. defense contractors and was in league with two military officers in China.

In March, he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to gain unauthorized access to a protected computer and violating the Arms Export Control Act. The Justice Department also said Su admitted he conspired with two people in China from October 2008 to March 2014 to gain unauthorized access to protected U.S. computer networks.

The Justice Department alleged that Su's co-conspirators accessed Boeing computers that are used to support the firm's C-17 military transport aircraft. The hackers also allegedly targeted information related to the F-22 and F-35 fighter jets made by Lockheed Martin.

The Justice Department said Su admitted that as part of the conspiracy, he emailed his co-conspirators in China telling them what people, companies and technologies to target during their intrusions on federal contractors' computers.

Officials said that once one of Su's co-conspirators broke into a contractor's computers, he emailed Su directory file listings and folders showing the data he had been able to access. In return, Su told his Chinese accomplice which files to steal. Su also translated the documents from English to Chinese, according to Justice officials.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, tele.com magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at mrockwell@fcw.com or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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