Tuesday, September 26, 2023
Courthouse News Service
Tuesday, September 26, 2023 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Chinese National Pleads|Guilty to Boeing Hack

LOS ANGELES (CN) - A Chinese businessman pleaded guilty Wednesday for his part in a conspiracy to hack defense contractor Boeing, steal 65 gigabytes sensitive military data and sell the information for a profit in China.

Su Bin, 50, a citizen of the People's Republic of China, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Christina Snyder. As part of the plea agreement, Su admitted conspiring with two other unidentified Chinese individuals to steal the data for financial gain.

Su, also known as Stephen Su and Stephen Subin, faces up to five years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000 or more.

Su admitted that he assisted his co-conspirators efforts to hack computers belonging to Boeing Company in Orange County to steal military information, including data on C-17 strategic transport aircraft and the F-22 and F-35 stealth fighter jets, the U.S. Attorney's Office in LA said.

In a statement, U.S. Attorney Eileen Decker said the plea agreement demonstrates that hackers who target the United States would be held accountable regardless of where they operate, and that authorities are "deeply committed to protecting our sensitive data in order to keep our nation safe."

"Protecting our national security is the highest priority of the U.S. Attorney's Office, and cybercrime represents one of the most serious threats to our national security," Decker said.

The hackers first targeted Boeing in 2009, according to the criminal complaint against Su, and stole 630,000 digital files about the C-17 totaling 65 gigabytes of data.

Su worked from the offices of his aviation-technology business Lode Technology, where he had contacts with military and commercial entities in the aerospace technology industry in the United States

He was charged with emailing his co-conspirators with instructions on which companies, individuals and technologies to attack by sending file directories and advising them on which technologies to target.

One of Su's co-conspirators would gain access to folders on computers and send Su a list, prosecutors say. Su then advised his co-conspirator about which files and folders he should steal, and translated content from English to Chinese.

"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," the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a statement.

Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Carlin said that the conspiracy had originated in China.

"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," Carlin said. "The National Security Division remains sharply focused on disrupting cyberthreats to the national security, and we will continue to be relentless in our pursuit of those who seek to undermine our security."

Authorities arrested Su in British Columbia on June 28, 2014.

He is scheduled to return to court on July 23 for sentencing.

Categories / Uncategorized

Read the Top 8

Sign up for the Top 8, a roundup of the day's top stories delivered directly to your inbox Monday through Friday.