Chinese Hackers Compromise US Security Systems

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The cyber war between the United States and China is intensifying.

Chinese hackers have accessed designs for some of the nation's most advanced weapons.

U.S. officials are calling it a "staggering security breach" and warning it could allow China to not only copy our designs but also attack them.

The cyber war with China is being called the greatest national security challenge facing the United States.

Now, after months of computer security breaches involving Chinese hackers, officials say the blueprints of at least 29 critical U.S. weapons systems have been compromised.

That reportedly includes the Black Hawk helicopter, the Navy's Aegis Missile Defense System and even the state-of-the-art F-35 jet fighter.

"It tracks really nicely with Chinese military priorities," cyber security analyst James Lewis said. "How do you beat U.S. air defenses, how do you let China attack our carriers, how do you preserve China's ICBMs from U.S. missile defense, how do you get advantage in the air and in the sea?"

A Pentagon study published by the Washington Post says the U.S. sustained "staggering losses."

The Obama administration has called on China to stop cyber theft.

Military experts believe the operation is part of the People's Liberation Army's Cyber Command authorized by the highest levels of China's military.

"It really narrows the gap and it shades the odds in China's direction," Lewis said. "We still are militarily superior, no doubt about that. But we're not as superior as we were before all this happened so some serious risk [exists] as a result of these Chinese successes."

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is heading to southeast Asia to discuss cyber security and President Obama is expected to raise the issue with China's leader next month at a summit in southern California.

"It's something we raise very directly with the Chinese and we're going to do so through diplomatic channels and be very consistent," State Department deputy spokesman Patrick Ventrell told reporters.

Reports out of Australia suggest Chinese hackers stole the blueprints of a new spy agency headquarters.

The compromised documents are said to include details on communication cabling, server locations and security systems.

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