- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 24, 2016

A Chinese national and permanent resident of Canada pleaded guilty Wednesday to participating in a hacking conspiracy in which foreign criminals stole hundreds of thousands of files concerning sensitive American military data.

Su Bin, 50, a Chinese businessman, admitted to taking part in nearly a six-year-long plot that allowed hackers to penetrate the computers of defense contractor Boeing, among others, and steal military and export files to send to China, according to a plea agreement filed in U.S. District Court.

Federal prosecutors said Su communicated with two co-conspirators in China to carry out a sophisticated scheme in which military information were stolen from Boeing’s computers, including data on the F-22 and F-35 stealth fighter jets.

In 2009, the hackers stole 630,000 digital files about the C-17 strategic transport aircraft totaling 65 gigabytes of data, according to court documents.

The prosecutors said Su “directed his co-conspirator as to which files and folders his co-conspirator should steal.”

“Once the co-conspirator stole the data, including by using techniques to avoid detection when hacking the victim computers, Su translated the contents of certain stolen data from English into Chinese,” the prosecutors wrote. “In addition, Su and his co-conspirators each wrote, revised and emailed reports about the information and technology they had acquired by their hacking activities, including its value, to the final beneficiaries of their hacking activities.”

Robert Anello, an attorney for Su, told The Associated Press his client is “hopeful to move on with his life” but declined further comment.

Su faces a maximum of five years in prison in addition to a fine when he is sentenced July 13.

“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,” said John Carlin, assistant attorney general for national security.

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