Monday, July 25, 2016

Why did a Chinese spy from BC get less than four years for stealing F-35 secrets???


Why did a Chinese spy from BC get less than four years for stealing F-35 secrets???



An F-35  I

A couple of days ago I wrote an article about a Chinese spy who ran an aerospace firm with an office in British Columbia and who had just been sentenced to jail for stealing confidential information on a U.S. military transport aircraft and the F-35 stealth fighter.

Photograph of Su Bin
Photograph of Su Bin

The case of Su Bin came up in court in Los Angeles last week. He had helped two Chinese military hackers in targeting information on the U.S. F-22 and F-35 stealth fighters as well as Boeing’s C-17 transport aircraft.
U.S. prosecutors had Su’s emails linking him to the spy operation. He wrote about the difficulty of getting into Boeing’s computer networks, calling it “painstaking labor and slow groping.”
But the spies hit success, entering a secret network with C-17 data. Some 630,000 files containing C-17 information was obtained, according to the U.S. government.
The theft of information on the C-17 aircraft made “important contributions to our national defense scientific research development,” one of the Chinese military officers wrote in an email intercepted by the U.S.
The spies also obtained the flight test plan for the F-35, prepared by a U.S. defence engineer, and details about training for F-22 pilots for launching missiles.
One of Su’s emails also noted an attempt to collect data on a missile being developed jointly by Russia and India.
Another email, sent by Su in 2009, outlined the names of U.S. aerospace executives that the hackers could target.
At one point Su was facing the potential of 30 years in prison, according to media reports in the U.S.
Instead he got three years and 10 months. Plus a $10,000 fine.
So what happened?
It appears Su made a deal.
In a plea agreement, Su admitted to conspiring with the two hackers in China to gain unauthorized access to computer networks in the U.S. between October 2008 and March 2014.
Su also admitted translating the stolen information, which was then offered to Chinese aviation firms.
Even his final sentence was less than bargained for. According to earlier reports under the plea deal, Su faced a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
“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 said in a statement.
In announcing Su’s plea, Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin stated this:
“Su Bin admitted to playing an important role in a conspiracy, originating in China, to illegally access sensitive military data, including data relating to military aircraft that are indispensable in keeping our military personnel safe. This plea sends a strong message that stealing from the United States and our companies has a significant cost; we can and will find these criminals and bring them to justice. The National Security Division remains sharply focused on disrupting cyber threats to the national security, and we will continue to be relentless in our pursuit of those who seek to undermine our security.”
This plea sends a strong message?