Verizon provides the information highway for more than 60 percent of the world’s Internet traffic. And according to the company’s annual report on cyber crime, 96 percent of cyber-espionage over the past year originated in one country — China.
A recent PBS NewsHour segment looked at the problem of Chinese cyber-spying, a topic that was included on the agenda for a bi-annual meeting between leaders from the U.S. and China. According to the report by Ray Suarez, spying began to shift from U.S. government systems to those of innovative companies.
“The Chinese realized about 10 years ago that they had had a very shallow economic modernization,” said James Mulvenon, who co-authored “Chinese Industrial Espionage: Technology Acquisition and Military Modernization.”
“They wanted to do their [own] innovation, but state-directed innovation is quite difficult. So, they realized in many cases the only way that they could jump-start the kind of indigenous innovation that they wanted was to be able to steal the technology,” Mulvenon said.
The Chinese government flatly denies the charge, but Mulvenon said there’s plenty of evidence to prove it.
Dmitri Alperovitch is co-founder and CEO of Crowdstrike, a cyber-security startup that helps companies and government agencies protect themselves against cyber theft.
One problem, he told Suarez, is that companies have almost no recourse when their information is stolen. They are barred by law from using the same methods employed by the thief in order to take back their documents.
“What we want is for private companies and individuals that are victims of this activity to have authorities that they enjoy in the physical space of defense of property,” he said. “Today, if someone steals your data and takes it to another machine — the bad guys’ machine — and you have full proof, you have logs that that activity has taken place, you are not authorized to go into that machine to take your data back.”
View the entire NewsHour segment:
Watch U.S. Fed Up With Chinese Cyber Theft, Say Analysts on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.
In a separate PBS online article, Alperovitch explains how to recognize a potential attack on personal data.