Chinese Trade Secret Hacking Continues, Causing Global Tensions to Rise

Since the passing of Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (DTSA), U.S. trade secret case filings have increased from a range of 860 to 930 cases per year to more than 1,130 in 2017. Unfortunately, 83% of government contractors, network, IT, and wireless organizations are out of compliance. These compliance and trade secret issues can end up causing all sorts of problems, from small business financial losses to national security breaches.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Chinese hackers have engaged in a multiyear scheme to break into U.S. technology service providers, leading to all sorts of cyber and national security problems.

U.S. prosecutors are expected to unseal criminal charges against hackers linked to the Chinese government who have allegedly begun a complex multiyear hacking campaign to hack tech service providers in order to compromise entire networks and steal essential intellectual property.

“We view it as the platform the Chinese are using for whatever they need,” said Rob Joyce, a senior official at the National Security Agency. “That could include additional espionage, theft of intellectual property, and, potentially, groundwork for disruptive operations.”

Politico reports that the Trump administration declared in late December of 2018 that the Chinese government broke its promise to stop hacking U.S. businesses and stealing their trade secrets, increasing tensions between China and the U.S., two of the world’s digital superpowers.

“China stands accused of engaging in criminal activity that victimizes individuals and companies in the United States, violates our laws, and departs from international norms of responsible state behavior,” added Rod Rosenstein, Deputy Attorney General. “The activity alleged in this indictment violates the commitment that China made to members of the international community. The evidence suggests that China may not intend to abide by its promises.”

Chinese hackers are linked to more than 90% of the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) economic espionage cases over the past seven years, as well as more than 65% of its trade secrets theft cases.

“Today’s charges mark an important step in revealing to the world China’s continued practice of stealing commercial data,” Rosenstein added.

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