In 2003, a cyber event occurred in which Chinese hackers were able to exfiltrate sensitive national security information from the Naval Air Weapons Station (NAWS) China Lake in California. The data that was stolen included nuclear weapons test and design data, as well as information about stealth aircraft.
The specifics of the cyber attack are not publicly known, but it is believed that the hackers exploited vulnerabilities in the computer systems at the naval base in order to gain access to the sensitive data. It is not clear how the hackers were able to exfiltrate the data, but it is possible that they used malware or other malicious software or that they employed social engineering tactics such as phishing or pretexting.
The Chinese government has denied any involvement in the cyber attack, but it is widely believed that the hackers were acting on behalf of the Chinese government or military. The incident was a major concern for the US government and military, as it demonstrated the vulnerabilities of their computer systems and the potential for foreign powers to access sensitive information.
In response to the cyber attack, the US government implemented measures to improve the security of its computer systems and protect against future attacks. These measures included the use of stronger cybersecurity protocols, the deployment of advanced technologies to detect and prevent cyber threats, and the training of personnel to recognize and mitigate the risk of cyber attacks.
Despite these efforts, the US government and military have continued to be targeted by cyber attacks in the years since the incident at the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake. Cybersecurity remains a major concern for the US government and military as they seek to protect sensitive information from being accessed by foreign powers or other malicious actors.