A new U.S. government report issued by the Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive (http://www.ncix.gov) released on November 3 has directly attributed economic espionage to China and Russia insofar as targeting the proprietary information of US companies is concerned.
In the report, China was named the "world's most active and persistent" perpetrator of economic espionage against the US private sector. The report also cites that the Internet and the growth in technology devices have made it far more easier for foreign entities to collect enormous quantities of data quickly and with little risk. Predictably, the Chinese government denied the accusation.
Cyber-spying is particularly efficient, since it can be conducted with fewer resources and more safely because it is easy for attackers to hide their tracks. The nation-backed attackers may use malicious software and Web-and network-based techniques to breach networks.
Foreign governments are interested in a wide range of information, including information and communications technologies, location of natural resources, and military and civilian technologies such as clean-energy and medical technology. The stolen information can be used to aid the other country's economic development, gain a competitive agenda or promote its own domestic agenda, according to the report.
COMMENT: From my own experience, both in the private and public sectors across the globe, economic intelligence collection today is far more sophisticated that it was even five years ago, which is why I have designed and developed a one-day workshop entitled ECONOMIC ESPIONAGE: UNDERSTANDING, PREVENTION & RESPONSE, which is available as an in-house program for private sector companies anywhere in the world, relying on the expertise of industry experts. This program also includes a major block on preventing the theft and compromise of sensitive information from laptops, smart-phones and other hand-held data devices. If you are interested in this program, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A pdf copy of the 2011 reported described above, please go to http://www.ncix.gov, where a copy can be downloaded.