Chinese businessman sentenced in defense hacking conspiracy

Chinese businessman sentenced in defense hacking conspiracy

A Chinese businessman has been sentenced to 46 months in prison for participating in a years-long conspiracy to hack into the computer networks of major U.S. defense contractors, steal sensitive military information and send the stolen data to China.


Su Bin, who worked in aviation and aerospace, stole data relating to the C-17 strategic transport aircraft and certain military fighter jets, according to a Justice Department statement.

“Su assisted the Chinese military hackers in their efforts to illegally access and steal designs for cutting-edge military aircraft that are indispensable to our national defense,” said Assistant Attorney General John Carlin.

“These activities have serious consequences for the national security of our country and the safety of the men and women of our armed services.”

As part of the conspiracy, Su would email hackers with instructions regarding which individuals, companies and technologies to target. One of the co-conspirators would then email Su with folders showing the data he or she was able to access, and Su would identify which files the hacker should try to steal.

Su would then translate the stolen data from English to Chinese, as well as produce reports about the value of the data.

Su was arrested in Canada in July 2014 and was ultimately conveyed to the U.S. in February of this year. He pleaded guilty in March.