Chinese hackers gained access to Korea’s top-secret plan to buy the U.S.-made Global Hawk reconnaissance drone in June 2010, reports said Sunday.
“We’ve had a report from a government official that China launched a hacking attack on the Defense Ministry’s computer system and accessed confidential information about the ministry’s plan” to buy the drone, a spokesman for Democratic Party lawmaker Shin Hak-yong of the National Assembly’s Defense Committee said. “The government hasn’t raised this issue with China yet and is apparently still mulling how to handle it.”
Seoul asked Washington to sell the Global Hawk in 2005, and in 2009 the U.S. Defense Department agreed.
Japan also wants to buy the Global Hawk. China is apparently collecting intelligence for fear of growing surveillance power by South Korea, the U.S., and Japan.
The RQ-4 Global Hawk is a high-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aircraft system with an integrated sensor suite that provides intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, or ISR, capability worldwide. Global Hawk’s mission is to provide a broad spectrum of ISR collection capability to support joint combatant forces in worldwide peacetime, contingency and wartime operations. The Global Hawk complements manned and space reconnaissance systems by providing near-real-time coverage using imagery intelligence or IMINT, sensors.
Meanwhile, there have been more than 20,000 hacking attempts on the Korean government computer systems every year, most of them from China, according to data the Ministry of Public Administration and Security submitted to Grand National Party lawmaker Lee Sung-hun.
Of 21,899 hack attempts last year, 8,183 came from China, followed by the U.S. (1,032 attempts), Brazil (282), Thailand (255), Hong Kong (239), and Japan (232). In 2007 there were 30,287 attempts, 36,907 in 2008, 20,176 in 2009, and 21,899 from January to August 2010.
- The Chosunilbo