National Security Agency whistle blower Edward Snowden made headlines following his revelations that Chinese hackers stole 50 terabytes of United States classified information designed for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the most expensive defense project in US history.
In NSA’s document leaked by Snowden, the hackers stole sensitive information including the details of the fighter’s radar systems, comprehensive engine schematics, aft deck heating contour maps and the method the aircraft uses to track targets.
All of these amounted to 50 terabytes, which is equivalent to five libraries of the US Congress.
The reported theft allegedly transpired in 2007 and has saved the Chinese government from “25 years of research and development” in building their own advanced fighter jets, a US military official once said to The Washington Post.
The allegation was denied by China. “The so-called evidence that has been used to launch groundless accusations against China is completely unjustified,” foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters in Beijing.
“According to the materials presented by the relevant person, some countries themselves have disgraceful records on cyber security,” Lei added.
It can be recalled that US officials have claimed that the Chinese J-31 stealth fighter, which made its first public flight on November 11 last year, have the same features as the F-35.