United States technology, trade secrets, and proprietary information have been targeted by foreign countries cyber-espionage, according to a Defense Security Service report.
An increase of 75% percent in attempts to access classified and proprietary U.S. information was registered during the fiscal years of 2010 to 2011. An FBI report states the United States had lost $13 billion in economic cyber-espionage and the ascending curve will continue through 2013.
â€œDuring fiscal year 2011, the persistent, pervasive, and insidious nature of that threat became particularly noteworthy, and the pattern became even more firmly established,â€ wrote DSS Director Stanley L. Sims in his report.
Mostly targeting military and space technology data, the report concludes that companies developing new technologies suffer greatly as they â€œinvest millions of man-hours in proprietary products, only to have them copied and stolen by foreign agents, who can share with their corporations,â€ said Joel Harding, a retired military intelligence officer.
While some critics accused the U.S. of â€œpropagandaâ€, Â Jason Healey of the Atlantic Council, a former White House and Goldman Sachs security official, said both Israel and the United States only steal political secrets in the interest of national security programs.
“Yes, the CIA or NSA might spy on a factory making aircraft engines, but this is to learn how to defeat aircraft with those engines in combat,” Healey said. “The Chinese — sorry, East Asians and Pacific-ers — are spying on engine factories so they can reproduce those engines themselves, or feed the secrets into their own R&D process.”
Concluding that sensitive information needs to be better protected, Harding believes cyber-criminals are the only ones who should be held accountable for stealing the data.