08:20 GMT02 March 2021
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    The Chinese national who hacked the networks of US defense contractors, delivering confidential information to China, is being celebrated as a hero in his home country.

    Su Bin pled guilty to conspiring with others to break into the networks of Boeing and other American defense contractors in a federal court in Los Angeles, California. The hacking took place between October 2008 and March 2014, according to prosecutors. 

    That is being lauded as patriotic in his home country.

    ​“We are willing to show our gratitude and respect for his service to our country," said an editorial in the Chinese newspaper the Global Times. 

    Su, also known as Stephen Su locally, is a “wealthy businessman” according to court documents. According to prosecutors, Su supplied two other conspirators in China with confidential data and information on a number of programs including that of the C-17 transport plane and two fighter jets, the F-22 and F-35.

    The US and China have, for years, been accusing each other of cyberespionage. Su represents the first person successfully prosecuted by the US for stealing state secrets through hacking. 

    That has made him a hero at home, according to the local paper, according to China Cheat Sheets.

    "On the secret battlefield without gunpowder, China needs special agents to gather secrets from the US,” the newspaper said.

    However, according to Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei, Beijing "firmly opposes and does not support any cyberhacking activities.”

    The editorial also went on to question whether Su was even guilty of the charges, however, saying that the US has claimed to find "quite a few spies” of which most “proved to be innocent.”

    "As the 'war of information' between China and the US continues there will probably be more Chinese framed as spies,” they argued.


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