Pentagon programs target of Chinese cyber threat

Updated 30 May 2013
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Pentagon programs target of Chinese cyber threat

WASHINGTON: New revelations that China used cyberattacks to access data from nearly 40 US weapons programs and almost 30 other defense technologies have increased pressure on American leaders to take more strident action against Beijing to stem the persistent breaches.
The disclosure, which was included in a Defense Science Board report released earlier this year but is only now being discussed publicly, comes as Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel heads to Southeast Asia, where he will discuss the escalating cyberthreat with counterparts from a number of area nations.
While officials have been warning for years about China’s cyber espionage efforts aimed at US military and high-tech programs, the breadth of the list underscored how routine the attacks have become. And, as the US looks to grow its military presence in the Asia Pacific, it heightens worries that China can use the information to blunt America’s military superiority and keep pace with emerging technologies.
“It introduces uncertainty on how well the weapons may work, and it means we may have to redo weapons systems,” said James Lewis, a cybersecurity expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “If they know how it works precisely, they will be able to evade it and figure out how to better beat our systems.” A chart included in the science board’s report laid out what it called a partial list of 37 breached programs, which included the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense weapon — a land-based missile defense system that was recently deployed to Guam to help counter the North Korean threat. Other programs include the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the F-22 Raptor fighter jet, and the hybrid MV-22 Osprey, which can take off and land like a helicopter and fly like an airplane.
The report also listed another 29 broader defense technologies that have been compromised, including drone video systems and high-tech avionics. The information was gathered more than two years ago, so some of the data is dated and a few of the breaches — such as the F-35 — had actually already become public.
The details of the breaches were first reported by The Washington Post.
According to a defense official, the report is based on more than 50 briefings that members of the board’s task force received from senior leaders in the Pentagon, the State Department, the intelligence community, national laboratories and business. The official was not authorized to discuss the report publicly so spoke on condition of anonymity.


Indian court finds spiritual guru guilty of raping devotee

Updated 25 April 2018
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Indian court finds spiritual guru guilty of raping devotee

NEW DELHI: An Indian court on Wednesday found a high-profile spiritual guru Asaram Bapu guilty of raping a teenage female devotee in 2013 and he faces a maximum of life in prison.
The verdict against 77-year-old Bapu was read out inside a prison in the city of Jodhpur in Rajasthan state because of fears that his followers may resort to violence.
The case is the latest in a series of high-profile rape cases in India that have fueled public protests and raised questions about how police handle the cases and treat the victims.
In August last year, another popular and flamboyant Indian spiritual guru, Dr. Saint Gurmeet Singh Ram Rahim Insan, was sentenced to 20 years in prison on charges of raping two female followers.
Judge Madhusudhan Sharma will announce the prison term for Bapu later after hearing arguments from the prosecution and Bapu’s attorneys.
Bapu has denied the rape and can appeal his conviction in a higher court.
The girl in her complaint to the police in 2013 accused Bapu of raping her when she visited his retreat in Jodhpur with her mother. The girl’s family said they had been followers of Bapu for more than a decade.
Bapu has been in prison since his arrest in the case in 2013.
On Wednesday, security was tight around the prison complex and in states where the self-styled guru has a considerable following.
Religious sects also wield considerable political clout in India with several politicians as followers. Asaram is also on trial along with his son Narayan Sai in a separate rape case where two sisters have accused the two men of sexual assault.