Friday, June 20, 2014

Business Espionage: Classic Spying is Back

According to a security and counterintelligence expert, Fortune 500 companies and the world’s media face a crisis. Chinese operatives are gaining control over the crucial nexus through which market intelligence is gathered and cash flows to media companies: ad agencies.

The issue is known to top executives at some of the largest companies in the United States. Five spoke off the record and gave a common answer: they’re aware, but cannot step forward for fear of retribution...

After having learned that spies were targeting proprietary information through their ad agencies, a chief executive officer at a Fortune 100 technology firm said, “We had no idea as to the relentlessness and depth the Chinese were willing to go to in obtaining our negotiating and pricing strategies.”...

In the case of the ad agencies, the information is being gathered by spies inside the companies.

The sending of agents, rather than the launching of cyberattacks, shows the strong value placed on the targets.
Singer said, “You’re talking about something that’s costly on your side, so what you’re going after has to be of great value to you.” (more)