Report: Chinese hackers access Redstone military defense secrets - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Report: Chinese hackers access Redstone military defense secrets

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HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

Chinese hackers accessed top military defense secrets, according to national news source Bloomberg in a report.

The publication claims one of the sites hacked is Huntsville's Redstone Arsenal and a Huntsville defense contractor could be to blame.  

The report describes the information as some of the military's most closely guarded secrets. The report also states the hackers got into Redstone Arsenal's servers through a local defense contractor.

The report is pretty damning, saying Chinese computer spies raided the databanks of almost every major U.S. defense contractor. It's a very chilling story of international espionage, some of it happening in the Rocket City. According to the report, the cyber spies used a stolen network administrator password from defense contracting firm QinetiQ to "raid the computer of QinetiQ's Huntsville, Alabama-based technology control office, which contained an inventory of highly sensitive weapons-systems technology and source code throughout the company. The spies had got their hands on a map to all of QinetiQ's digital secrets."

And the hackers didn't stop there. According to Bloomberg, security teams found evidence that the hackers had burrowed into almost every corner of QinetiQ's U.S. operations, including production facilities and engineering labs where QinetiQ engineers work.

That, according to Bloomberg, has Redstone Arsenal on edge. And it should because of what is on the base, namely missile command. The Bloomberg report states that the hackers may have used QinetiQ to break into Redstone Arsenal through a network shared with QinetiQ's engineers.  Quoting the article, "a breach of the base, home of the army's aviation and missile command, was linked by military investigators back to QinetiQ, according to a person familiar with the investigation."

WAFF 48 News reached out to QinetiQ, Redstone Arsenal, and the FBI for a comment on the report. Redstone released the following statement:

"Cyberspace intrusion and hacking requires us to aggressively monitor Team Redstone networks, while taking appropriate procedures to address threats," Dan O'Boyle, Redstone Arsenal spokesman said.  "We aggressively monitor our information grid, and have appropriate procedures in place.  We actively develop and implement defensive measures and capabilities to protect and defend our networks so our vital information systems remain secure to support ongoing Operations.  We have been conducting normal operations, and have not been impacted by malicious software. Cyber Security is one of AMCOM's Command Priorities, and we always take the appropriate measures to protect our networks.  As a matter of operational security, we do not discuss the specifics of those measures."

QinetiQ and the FBI have not responded to our request for comment.

Copyright 2013 WAFF. All rights reserved.

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