Jun 8, 2018

Chinese hackers obtain classified U.S. data on underwater warfare

USS San Jacinto. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

At the beginning of this year, Chinese government hackers retrieved troves of highly classified information regarding undersea warfare, the Washington Post reports.

The details: The hackers stole the data from a Naval Undersea Warfare Center contractor in Rhode Island, per the Post, compromising "hundreds of mechanical and software systems." This hack follows other breaches as China works towards disrupting the U.S. military technology advantages.

What they took, per the Post:

  • 614 gigabytes of data surrounding a Pentagon projected called Sea Dragon. Sea Dragon would "introduce a 'disruptive offensive capability' by 'integrating an existing weapon system with an existing Navy platform.'"
  • An electronic warfare library. Former admiral and supreme allied commander at NATO, James Stavridis, told the Post this gives China "a reasonable idea of what level of knowledge we have about their specific [radar] platform...and that deeply reduces our level of comfort if we were in a close undersea combat situation with China."
  • Signals and sensor data. Stavridis said China could "know when we would know at what distance we would be able to detect their submarines."

Go deeper

Trump says he will campaign against Lisa Murkowski after her support for Mattis

Trump with Barr and Meadows outside St. John's Episcopal church in Washington, D.C. on June 1. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Thursday that he would endorse "any candidate" with a pulse who runs against Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

Driving the news: Murkowski said on Thursday that she supported former defense secretary James Mattis' condemnation of Trump over his response to protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing. She described Mattis' statement as "true, honest, necessary and overdue," Politico's Andrew Desiderio reports.

8 hours ago - World

The president vs. the Pentagon

Trump visits Mattis and the Pentagon in 2018. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty

Over the course of just a few hours, President Trump was rebuffed by the Secretary of Defense over his call for troops in the streets and accused by James Mattis, his former Pentagon chief, of trampling the Constitution for political gain.

Why it matters: Current and former leaders of the U.S. military are drawing a line over Trump's demand for a militarized response to the protests and unrest that have swept the country over the killing of George Floyd by police.

New York Times says Tom Cotton op-ed did not meet standards

Photo: Avalon/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

A New York Times spokesperson said in a statement Thursday that the paper will be changing its editorial board processes after a Wednesday op-ed by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), which called for President Trump to "send in the troops" in order to quell violent protests, failed to meet its standards.

Why it matters: The shift comes after Times employees began a coordinated movement on social media on Wednesday and Thursday that argued that publishing the op-ed put black staff in danger. Cotton wrote that Trump should invoke the Insurrection Act in order to deploy the U.S. military against rioters that have overwhelmed police forces in cities across the country.