CBS News has published a report that is supported by oh-so-many blog posts on this blog: the Chinese appear to be committed to high-level industrial espionage targeting the secrets of successful companies throughout the world, particularly those in the United States. The Google report, according to some, is just the tip of the iceberg.
"This is not a Google story," said Peter Navarro, author of "The Coming China Wars." "It is a story about industrial espionage, coming from China, attacking American business and our economy." Navarro says the companies believed to have been attacked include Dow Chemical and Northrop Grumman.
"When they hack American business enterprises, it is a covert act of war on our economy at a time when their economy is growing at over 10 percent and we have a 10 percent unemployment rate," Navarro said. At a place where they battle hackers every day, the computer security company McAfee, George Kurtz says the attacks were sophisticated and precisely targeted, "designed to get in, cover its tracks and steal corporate secrets and get out."
And for the companies involved, those secrets are valuable. "Think about the amount of money they spend on [research and development] on a yearly basis -billions of dollars," Kurtz said. "Having trade secrets and potentially source code taken can be very damaging to them. "One of the huge drivers of Chinese economic growth over the last several decades has been the forced technology transfer from America to China," Navarro said.
We've been blogging about this topic for as long as we've been blogging: http://wombletradesecrets.blogspot.com/2006/05/more-on-chinese-espionage.html. We've also blogged about cases involving China's alleged "863 program" recently: http://wombletradesecrets.blogspot.com/2009/10/we-first-blogged-about-this-economic.html.
This is not a story that's going away. For an interesting paper on this topic, see here: http://jip.kentlaw.edu/art/volume%208/8%20Chi-Kent%20J%20Intell%20Prop%20189.pdf.