military officials are pushing back against a claim that National
Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden made last week about China
stealing top-secret data on a pricey warplane program.
a former contractor who fled the United States after exposing NSA spy
secrets, shared documents with German magazine Der Spiegel that appear
to show that China stole sensitive data about the warplane, including
engine schematics and radar design.
The magazine made public a report on China’s intelligence theft earlier this month.
on Tuesday, the F-35 fighter jet program office told Reuters that the
documents released by Der Spiegel only show non-classified data about
“Classified F-35 information is protected and remains secure,” the program office told Reuters in a statement.
the statement, Pentagon officials said they continue to take all
potential cyberattacks seriously, and that the incident in question was
not expected to negatively impact the program, Reuters reported.
foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei on Monday denied China stole the
jet data, according to The New York Times. The “complexity” of the
alleged cyberattacks “means that it is extremely difficult to identify
the source,” Mr. Lei said.
“I wonder if they can produce evidence to prop up such accusation and groundless attack,” he said.
spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren declined on Tuesday to discuss whether
the Chinese had been able to peek at U.S. military technology secrets.
“We never talk about cyber-intrusions and we don’t comment on leaked information,” he said.