Report Accuses China And Russia Of Internet Espionage
November 3, 2011

Report Accuses China And Russia Of Internet Espionage

According to a report by the Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive, China and Russia are using cyber spies to steal U.S. trade and technology secrets.

The report entitled "Foreign Spies Stealing US Economic Secrets in Cyberspace" says foreign intruders can collect massive amounts of data quickly and with little risk because they are difficult to detect.

It said foreign intelligence services, corporations and individuals increased their efforts to steal U.S. technologies.  They used methods like extracting information remotely from their home base, downloading data to a portable device, and transmitting information by email.

According to the report, intelligence services, private companies, academic institutions and citizens of dozens of countries target the U.S.

The report, which was conducted by 14 American intelligence agencies, said the foreign governments contract independent hackers to expand their capabilities and cloak responsibility of the computer breaches.

Internet espionage is subject to domestic criminal law in the U.S., and intelligence officials said that the U.S. does not conduct economic espionage as a matter of national policy.

The report said most computer-network espionage against American economic targets focused on information and communications technology, assessments of supplies of scarce natural resources, technologies for clear energy and health care systems, and accessing military information.

It said these acts of thievery of economic and trade information was a national security threat. 

“Many companies are unaware when their sensitive data is pilfered, and those that find out are often reluctant to report the loss, fearing potential damage to their reputation with investors, customers and employees,” the report said.

The report said that it recommends finding strategies to determine how open a company needs to be on the Internet.  It also recommended developing programs for assessing threats from inside a company, and making efforts to manage data more effectively.


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