Data on the Pentagon's Joint Strike Fighter aircraft that was recently reported as being illegally accessed by foreign cyberspies has been available for more than four years on a peer-to-peer file sharing network, the CEO of a software vendor said at a legislative hearing Tuesday.
The Wall Street Journal last month reported that hackers -- possibly based in China -- had broken into U.S. Department of Defense computers and downloaded terabytes of data containing design information about the US$300 billion stealth fighter currently under development.
But Robert Boback, CEO of Tiversa Inc., a Cranberry Township, Pa.-based P2P monitoring services provider, said the company discovered the data on a file-sharing peer-to-peer network in January 2005 and reported it to the Defense Department and other federal authorities at that time.
The Defense Department could not immediately be reached for comment.
Boback was testifying at a hearing held Tuesday by a subcommittee of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce headed by U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman, (D-Calif.) to discuss two new bills, one of which relates to P2P file sharing.
According to a company spokesman, the data on the Joint Strike Fighter was leaked from computers belonging to a defense contractor. At that point, the data was "not seen in China," but was disclosed from computers located in the state of Georgia and another computer in Ireland, the spokesman said via e-mail.