White House targets cybertheft as worries about China mount (+video)
The White House put forward a new strategy Wednesday for combating cybertheft against US companies. The document says the theft of US trade secrets is 'accelerating.'
(Page 2 of 2)
On Monday, a landmark report issued the cybersecurity company Mandiant of Alexandria, Va., outlined one potential aspect of the threat. It pointed the finger directly at China's military as a primary force behind the “advanced persistent threat” against Western cybernetworks.Skip to next paragraph
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
It said an elite cyberespionage division of the People’s Liberation Army, called Unit 61398, has stolen data from at least 141 companies spanning 20 major industries, primarily in the US. Targeted for theft were “broad categories of intellectual property, including technology blueprints, proprietary manufacturing processes, test results, business plans, pricing documents, partnership agreements, and emails and contact lists from victim organizations’ leadership,” the report said.
Intellectual-property groups were heartened to see movement on the issue Wednesday. "The new strategy to be announced by the White House is a sign that the US is going to take a tougher line against trade secret theft and press foreign nations to follow the agreed-upon trade standards," added Rob Atkinson, president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, in a statement. "We urge Congress to continue to support the Administration's efforts to aggressively fight U.S. trade secret theft."
The White House document cited numerous cases of technology theft, including many by Chinese operatives. On Aug. 29, 2012, Hanjuan Jin, a former software engineer for Motorola, was sentenced in the Northern District of Illinois to four years in prison for stealing trade secrets from Motorola, specifically Motorola’s proprietary iDEN telecommunications technology, for herself and for Sun Kaisens, a company that developed products for the Chinese military. According to court documents filed in the case, Motorola spent more than $400 million researching and developing the iDEN technology in just a few years.
Ms. Jin, a naturalized US citizen born in China, had among her belongings more than 1,000 electronic and paper Motorola proprietary documents when she was stopped by US authorities at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport as she attempted to board a flight to China in early 2007.