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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Monday, January 22, 2018

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Chinese man pleads guilty of conspiracy to steal US aerospace info

Including from Boeing computer systems

Share on Facebook March 25, 2016, Reporter : Big News Network, Reader : 407

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WASHINGTON – Chinese national Su Bin has pleaded guilty of conspiring to steal US aerospace information, including from Boeing computer systems. He faces five years behind bars and a $250,000 fine for a plot to steal information pertaining to fighter jets intended for use by US military forces.> Big News Network

Su, 50, played an important role in the conspiracy, directing his hacker colleagues in China about targets to attack (be it a person, technology or company) and which individual folders to steal from. He admitted to conspiring to export US military information to China between 2008 and 2014, according to a plea agreement reached in federal California court on Tuesday.

The men targeted fighter jets such as the F-22 and the F-35, as well as Boeing's C-17 military cargo aircraft program, according to court papers.

He worked as a translator as well, putting the stolen information in the native language of potential Chinese buyers.

Part of his deal entailed admitting that the data pilfered (including info from the US Munitions list) was done so expressly for monetary gain.

Su's attorney, Robert Anello, declined to discuss the case in detail except to say that Su is "hopeful to move on with his life."

Described by prosecutors as a China-based businessman in the aviation and aerospace fields, Su faces up to five years in federal prison at his sentencing July 13.

He had faced 30 years before reaching the plea agreement with prosecutors.

Su was arrested in British Columbia, Canada, in July 2014 and brought to the US in February. He is scheduled to be sentenced on July 13, 2016.

The US Department of Justice didn’t say who it believed was buying the information from Bin, but it’s possible that he hoped to sell it to the Chinese government.

The case highlights growing concerns in the United States about Chinese hacking of American trade secrets, an issue that has been addressed by President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

“Su Bin admitted to playing an important role in a conspiracy, originating in China, to illegally access sensitive military data, including data relating to military aircraft that are indispensable in keeping our military personnel safe,” said Assistant Attorney General John Carlin.

“This plea sends a strong message that stealing from the United States and our companies has a significant cost; we can and will find these criminals and bring them to justice.”

Su Bin, also known as Stephen Su and Stephen Subin, was a China-based businessman in the aviation and aerospace fields.

Su and his co-conspirators each wrote, revised and emailed reports about the information and technology they had acquired “to the final beneficiaries of their hacking activities,” the Justice Department said.

“Cybercrime represents one of the most serious threats to our national security,” said Eileen Decker, the US Attorney in Los Angeles.

“Today’s guilty plea and conviction demonstrate that these criminals can be held accountable no matter where they are located in the world.”

Among Su’s targets were Boeing’s C-17 — which was built in El Segundo — and the F-22 “Raptor” and F-35 “Lightning” fighter jets, according to papers filed in Los Angeles federal court.

The court documents reveal Su traveled to the United States at least 10 times between 2008 and 2014 and worked with the two unidentified co- conspirators to steal the data.

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