Corporate espionage

02.07.2020

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A little-known evil that is occurring today is the phenomenon of industrial espionage. In fact, this is a problem that has been around for quite some time. It has been especially prevalent among companies competing for dominance in the computer industry. It goes without saying that business’ secrets and formulas are very valuable. These can be just as sought after as government secrets and for that reason, this phenomenon is far more commonplace than people realize. Spies, including many people with decades of experience working in the CIA, are often hired to conduct espionage against competitors or simply to gather companies’ sensitive information or sell it themselves on the black market. Ironically, former members of the KGB are reported frequently as providers of these services to the United States for large sums of money. Other forms of corporate espionage include trespassing on a competitor’s property and posing as an employee or partner to pilfer a top secret file containing its program code, wiretapping competitors, hacking competitors’ computers, bugging offices, and sending malware to a computer. Just as attackers commonly send links with downloadable spyware to gain and exploit their personal information, so too do outfits send downloadable spyware to gain another company’s secrets.

The same flashy spy tactics that audiences see in the movies like tiny spy cameras hidden in objects, decorations, and glasses, are used in company offices. Both for political and economic advantages, encountering a cyberattack state-sponsored or privately sponsored is a regularly occurring event. Within the last week, the Australian government has reported sweeping sophisticated cyber espionage that it has been targeted in, in particular business, health, essential services, education, and political organizations. Speculation has indicated that the culprit is most likely China that is exploiting the coronavirus pandemic situation to launch malware and phishing attacks. These phishing attacks have been used to render these institutions vulnerable and steal top secret documents.


Read more about incidents occurred due to an insider: Broadlink and Google fired an employee, Defense Intelligence Agency had its own insider story. Or have a look at the research: global surveys emphasise the damage inflicted by insider leak, so what should you choose if a standard DLP is inefficient against insider threats.


The United States have already reported spying by the Chinese government, which it claimed was attempting to steal research into coming up with a coronavirus vaccine. This past January, Mitsubishi announced that an unidentified group of Chinese individuals included it as part of  mass industrial espionage, which managed to obtain the personal information of 8,000 people in addition to top secret business and government partner information, some of which included Japanese defense equipment. Shortly before the Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen took office for her second term, a sabotage attack was conducted against her. Her computer facilities were hacked, and files were released detailing some arguments that had been occurring within her administration. She responded that this was just a misinformation campaign to smear her.


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