Corporate espionage targeted fighter jet
A Chinese businessman who pleaded
guilty in March to conspiring to hack into
the computer networks of Boeing and
other major US defence contractors was
sentenced on Wednesday to nearly four
years in prison, prosecutors said.
Su Bin, 51, was charged with taking part
in a years-long scheme by Chinese
military officers to obtain sensitive
military information. In addition to the 46-
month prison term, a judge in US District
Court in Los Angeles also ordered Su to
pay a $10,000 fine.
“Su Bin’s sentence is a just punishment
for his admitted role in a conspiracy with
hackers from the People’s Liberation
Army Air Force to illegally access and
steal sensitive US military information,”
John Carlin, assistant attorney general for
national security, said in a statement.
“Su assisted the Chinese military hackers
in their efforts to illegally access and steal
designs for cutting-edge military aircraft
that are indispensable to our national
defence,” the statement said.
In an August 2014 indictment,
prosecutors said Su traveled to the United
States at least 10 times between 2008
and 2014 and worked with two
unidentified co-conspirators based in
China to steal the data.
The trio were accused of stealing plans
relating to the C-17 military transport
plane and F-22 and F-35 fighter jets, and
attempting to sell them to Chinese
According to prosecutors, in pleading
guilty Su admitted sending emails to his
co-conspirators telling them which
persons, companies and technologies to
target with their hacking and translating
the stolen material from English to
Su admitted taking part in the crime for
financial gain, prosecutors said.
The Chinese government has repeatedly
denied any involvement in hacking.
Su was arrested in Canada in 2014 and
ultimately consented to US extradition.
He pleaded guilty in March to one count of
conspiring to gain unauthorised access to
a protected computer and to violate the
Arms Export Control Act.