Tag Archives: stealing industrial secrets

Hackers in Demand: industrial espionage

keep calm and self destruct

American firms wage private cyber-combat against Chinese rivals…precisely that scenario is being considered by former senior American officials, who report that intellectual property (IP) is being stolen on an unprecedented scale, and that passive defences no longer work.  Annual losses from the theft of American IP are probably on a similar scale to America’s total exports to Asia, at around $300 billion a year, concludes a report by a Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property, a private initiative led by Dennis Blair, Barack Obama’s first director of national intelligence, and Jon Huntsman, a former ambassador to China and unsuccessful contender for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. “Extraordinary” numbers of commercial and government entities are bent on stealing American IP. Between half and 80% of them are Chinese, depending on the sector, commissioners say. They also

To date victims have been loth to retaliate. Companies do not want to be seen as “weak” and fear being singled out for punishment as they seek access to Chinese markets, says Mr Huntsman. Companies under attack also face legal constraints that defy common sense, says Admiral Blair. Victims face prosecution if they accidentally damage hackers’ American-hosted computers when trying to recover stolen files, let alone if they deliberately tell files to self-destruct.

Changing the law to permit aggressive counter-measures would be controversial…, recommendations include denying repeat offenders access to America’s banking system, or blocking IP abusers from making big American investments.

Intellectual property:Fighting China’s hackers, Economist, May 25, 2013 at 31

Cyberattacking Japan

The unsuccessful cyber-attack on Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd. in August was made via the computer system of the Society of Japanese Aerospace Companies, investigative sources said.  Police said a bogus email was sent Aug. 26 to an official at major defense contractor Kawasaki Heavy using the email address of an employee at the aerospace industry body. The hacking was unsuccessful as the Kawasaki Heavy official noticed abnormalities after opening an attached file and reported the matter immediately.

Hackers have also targeted Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. and IHI Corp. — also members of the industry body. Investigators believe the hackers tried to steal corporate data via the industry body’s computer system to get around the formidable firewalls defense contractors have installed to guard against such cyber-attacks.  A computer that is used to open file attachments can be forcibly connected to outside systems and data stolen, police said.  The contents of the email sent to the Kawasaki Heavy official were the same as a message the industry body employee had sent to a coworker 10 hours earlier.Police believe the employee’s computer was repeatedly hacked and data stolen from email exchanges.  No defense or security data were stolen in the cyber-attacks on Mitsubishi Heavy and IHI, according to industry sources.

Industry body’s computers used in cyber-attacks on Kawasaki Heavy, Japan Times, Oct. 16, 2011