Report: Economic spying rampant

Thursday, July 26, 2018

WASHINGTON (AP) — Iranian hackers known as "Rocket Kitten" repeatedly target American defense companies in hopes of stealing information to boost Tehran's missile and space programs. Russian hackers last year compromised dozens of U.S. energy companies. A Chinese cyberespionage group called APT10 relentlessly attacks U.S. engineering, telecom and aerospace industries.

While Moscow's efforts to meddle in the 2016 U.S. presidential election are widely known, spy services from China, Russia and Iran, along with their proxy hackers also are hard at work trying to steal trade secrets and proprietary information from the United States, according to a government report released Thursday.

"Foreign economic and industrial espionage against the United States continues to represent a significant threat to America's prosperity, security and competitive advantage," the National Counterintelligence and Security Center said. "China, Russia and Iran stand out as three of the most capable and active cyber actors tied to economic espionage and the potential theft of U.S. trade secrets and proprietary information."

Cyberespionage is a relatively lowcost, high-yield way to access and acquire information from U.S. research institutions, universities and corporations, the report said, adding that cloud computing and new technologies, such as artificial intelligence, will expose even more vulnerabilities in U.S. networks,

The report listed two dozen technologies that have piqued the interest of foreign intelligence collectors. They include oil, gas and coal-bed methane gas energies; smart grids; solar and wind technologies; biopharmaceuticals and new vaccines and drugs; defensive marine systems and radar; hybrid and electric cars; and pollution control.

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