Chinese businessman charged with hacking Boeing, Lockheed Martin

The US Department of Justice announced late Friday that a Chinese businessman has been charged with hacking into the computer systems of Boeing, Lockheed Martin and other aerospace companies. The alleged hacker, Su Bin, is accused of helping unidentified co-conspirators to identify what to steal from the companies' networks—including data on the F-22 and F-35 fighter aircraft and the C-17 cargo plane program. Su, also known as Stephen Su, an executive for a Chinese aerospace company with offices in Canada, was arrested by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in British Columbia on June 28, in cooperation with the FBI.

According to the Justice Department, Su and the unknown hackers based in China started to collect data in 2009, and continued until 2013. The Justice Department claims that the group "gained remote access from China to information residing on the computer systems of US companies including cleared defense contractors.”  In an e-mail Su sent, he said the aircraft data would help Chinese aircraft designers “stand easily on the giant’s shoulders,” and "allow us to rapidly catch up with US levels," NBC reported.

Ars will update this report with more details as they become available.

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