|By Adam Vincent||
|August 4, 2012 11:18 AM EDT||
Bloomberg ran a Cyber Espionage piece called, “Hackers Linked To China’s Army Seen from EU to D.C” on July 26 that featured information derived from Cyber Squared’s Project Enlightenment. In response to the article, Bloomberg TV’s “First Up” program hosted a live interview with me that aired in Asia and Europe on Tuesday, July 31st. (Once the video is made available, we’ll post it on Cyber2 TV.)
I thought the questions posed by the interviewer, Susan Li, were probably on top of everyone’s mind, so I’ll replay a few highlights from the interview here.
What kind of scale is Cyber Espionage happening?
We don’t fully recognize the scale at this point. While the government has been focused on trying to measure the wealth that’s being stolen in the US, there is no real way to measure the full scale of the issue. Companies don’t want to admit that they have a problem.
Is it possible to prevent an attack?
When we talk about the sophisticated threat, we’re talking about a fully-trained, capable adversary. Businesses aren’t equipped to deal with this kind of threat. They simply don’t have adequate resources and tradecraft.
The industries being attacked are so diverse (Think Tanks, Mining, Law Firms, Maritime, etc.) – is there an industry that is attacked more than another?
Our belief at Cyber Squared is that there is a common strategic nexus, and that the geopolitical context of those targets benefits one country, China.
Is it about gaining information, or is it about destruction?
Information is the primary target. It varies from Intellectual Property to product or business plans, Patent submissions, merger and acquisition plans, and more. As an example, it can be quite advantageous for a nation state adversary to know how much you would be willing to sell your company for.
Is it possible to go on the offense?
This topic is getting a lot more attention today, but it’s important to consider who is being attacked. It’s not just the government anymore. Project Enlightenment identified dozens of victims across twelve industries – all commercial companies; they weren’t typical defense contractors that you hear so much about. So the question becomes, “Who is going to go on the offensive – these commercial companies?” Is it the government on behalf of these companies? No one seems to have the answer to this yet.