- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Cybersecurity has reportedly asked the U.S. Navy for details about a data breach that allegedly allowed Chinese government hackers to steal throngs of sensitive military data.

Sen. Mike Rounds, South Dakota Republican, has requested that the Navy brief lawmakers in the wake of The Washington Post revealing last week that Chinese hackers successfully infiltrated a government contractor and compromised huge amounts of highly sensitive intelligence involving classified military operations, Politico reported Wednesday.

“I’ll give them an opportunity to explain what went on and why,” Mr. Rounds told Politico. “I most certainly want to find out what really did happen and what we have to do to avoid it in the future.”

The incident is “once again … a case of where we have, perhaps, hygiene that has to be improved. We’ll find out,” Mr. Rounds said.

Other military branches may face scrutiny as well, the congressman added.

“We’re going to start with the Navy and we’ll move from there,” he told Politico.

Chinese hackers breached an unidentified contractor that works for the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Rhode Island and subsequently stole huge amounts of sensitive data in January and February, The Post reported.

Intelligence compromised in the breach included signals and sensor data, submarine radio room information, the Navy submarine development unit’s electronic warfare library, plans to develop a supersonic anti-ship missile and over 600 gigabytes of data involving “Sea Dragon,” a classified project undertaken by the Pentagon’s Strategic Capabilities Office, the report said.

Defense Secretary James Mattis ordered a review of contractor cybersecurity policies following publication of The Post’s article last week, the newspaper reported afterwards.

A representative for Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida, the ranking Democrat on the cybersecurity subcommittee, did not immediately return an email seeking comment Wednesday.

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