Thursday, March 24, 2016

Chinese Multimillionaire Pleads Guilty to Attempt to Hack US Military

Chinese Multimillionaire Pleads Guilty to Attempt to Hack US Military

Group tried to steal information on C-17 and F-35 planes

Mar 24, 2016 
Su Bin, age 50, a Chinese national living in Vancouver, Canada, has pleaded guilty to a charge of criminal conspiracy to hack into the networks of US military defense contractors and steal sensitive material belonging to the US Air Force.
According to details published in a plea agreement (embedded below) revealed today by the US Department of Defense, Su Bin, also known as Stephen Su and Stephen Subin, plotted with two hackers living in China to hack into the computer network of various aerospace manufacturers. Among them was the Boeing Company in Orange County, California.
Su's role was to scout the target by using his business ties, owning a company in the aviation and aerospace fields. Su would email the two hackers, pointing out the persons to hack, the networks to target, and the technologies to steal.
Su was the inside source with ties in the US aerospace field
These attempted hacks happened between October 2008 and March 2014, and during this time, the hackers would break into various IT networks and send Su a list of the content they found while he replied to them what to steal.
If the data the two hackers managed to take was valuable, Su would then translate it from English into Chinese so that it could be sold to unknown parties in China.
US officials are accusing Su of trying to steal information about the C-17 strategic transport aircraft and certain fighter jets, including the infamous F-35 model.
US officials eventually discovered the hacking attempts before any potentially dangerous information was stolen and filed charges against Su in July 2014.
Su gave himself up, entered the US on his own accord
The Chinese businessman was later arrested by Canadian police but fought the extradition charges until February this year, when he dropped the case and voluntarily entered the US.
Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail reports that, at the same time, Canadian immigration authorities dropped a request to have Su stripped of his Canadian residency. Su has been living in Vancouver since 2012.
According to the same Canadian newspaper, who claims to have seen extradition court documents, the two hackers with whom Su collaborated were Chinese military officers, who sent pictures to Su in which their name and rank were visible.
In October 2015, after the US and China signed their anti-spying pact, Chinese officials arrested two groups of hackers, as a sign of goodwill towards the US. Details only emerged about one group, but not the second, of which there were suspicions of being part of the Chinese military.
Su admitted that he engaged in the affair just for monetary gains and is set to receive his sentence on July 13, 2016. He faces up to five years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 (€223,800) or twice the gross gain from his actions.