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Richard Clarke: All Major U.S. Firms Hacked By China

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the information-liberation-cyberarmy dept.

China 311

bdking writes "Former White House cybersecurity advisor Richard Clarke says state-sanctioned Chinese hackers are stealing R&D from U.S. companies, threatening the long-term competitiveness of the nation. He said, 'The U.S. government is involved in espionage against other governments. There’s a big difference, however, between the kind of cyberespionage the United States government does and China. The U.S. government doesn’t hack its way into Airbus and give Airbus the secrets to Boeing [many believe that Chinese hackers gave Boeing secrets to Airbus]. We don’t hack our way into a Chinese computer company like Huawei and provide the secrets of Huawei technology to their American competitor Cisco. [He believes Microsoft, too, was a victim of a Chinese cyber con game.] We don’t do that. ... We hack our way into foreign governments and collect the information off their networks. The same kind of information a CIA agent in the old days would try to buy from a spy. ... Diplomatic, military stuff but not commercial competitor stuff.'"

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US at it too (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39487485)

The US is reconstructing thoughts from business execs all over the planet, stealing business information 24/7.

Re:US at it too (3, Insightful)

stooo (2202012) | more than 2 years ago | (#39487729)

>> The U.S. government doesn’t hack its way into Airbus and give Airbus the secrets to Boeing

Total bullshit. The US officially steals corporate information on an industrial scale by examinating the laptop of corporate travellers.

Re:US at it too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39487967)

They even modify program used by others gouv. to create explosion in their pipeline.

Re:US at it too (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39488105)

they didn't give the modified program to the soviets, they watched them break in steal, so they modified it to teach them a lesson, there is a big difference and anyone who can't see that is just trying hard not to see it that way.

Re:US at it too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39488297)

What are you two talking about exactly?

Re:US at it too (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39488201)

it's a speculation on your part; have any info that supports you theory? they don't selectively screen just business laptops, they screen everyone, also there is a difference screening a laptop and hacking a network in another country to get secrets, so the only BS is your post.

You don't say... (5, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#39487487)

Yeah, it is not as though the US uses its own signals intelligence agency to spy on foreign businesses and pass R&D secrets to domestic firms...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ECHELON#Controversy [wikipedia.org]

Re:You don't say... (3, Insightful)

durrr (1316311) | more than 2 years ago | (#39487549)

yes but the US government is the good guys. Haven't you heard?
Everyone else is the bad guys.

And if we have to lie a bit to make the US government look better, then it's for a good cause.
Now shut the fuck up before your ass is NDAAed

Re:You don't say... (-1, Flamebait)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39487655)

According to future President Romney, our chief bad guy is Russia. What a dip! Both him and Obama are trying to revive the cold war (probably because it's profitable). Oh and bomb Iran. Looks like I won't be voting for either of these tools come November.

Re:You don't say... (4, Insightful)

marnues (906739) | more than 2 years ago | (#39487737)

Given the level of understanding you displayed, it'd probably be best to not vote until you've spent more time understanding politics. If someone is telling you political information, it is skewed. Seek it out for yourself, such as both candidates stance on war, specifically Iran. You may find they are both masterfully playing their hands without actually wanting to bomb them.

Re:You don't say... (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39487857)

You mean they're lying to get elected. Yes I am aware of that possibility; especially since both men have a history of flip-flopping. No need for the insult against my intelligence.

And Obama has already demo'd that he is as bomb happy. Continue the Irag/Afghan War even though he promised to end them by Dec 31, 2009. And then start new wars: Bomb Yemen. Bomb Libya. Bomb Iran is next (unless somebody stops him).

Re:You don't say... (4, Insightful)

Pulzar (81031) | more than 2 years ago | (#39488067)

especially since both men have a history of flip-flopping

How about saying they "changed their mind", or "made a different decision" instead of "flip-flopping"? Why is it bad that somebody in a position of authority changes their mind in light of new information? Don't you want them to do that? Or do you think that if someone thought that something is bad 4 years ago, they should do everything they can to end it today, even if they now believe it's a bad decision?

You have to learn and adapt as you go along to be successful. We should be looking for that in leaders, instead of calling them "flip-floppers".

Re:You don't say... (4, Insightful)

dougisfunny (1200171) | more than 2 years ago | (#39488179)

Or how about saying "they lied to get elected" since that is the most likely scenario.

Re:You don't say... (0)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39488225)

Yes but changing your mind is a slow process, not something that happens in less than a year. Or worse: State one position, switch to position two, and then go back to the first position again. That's just saying whatever you think the voters want to hear to win votes. Or worse: Indecisive.

"Fool me once. Shame on you. Fool me twice. Shame on me for being a stupid fuck." -- ______ (anyone stupid enough to vote for Warloving Obama or Romney)

Russia is Public Enemy # 1 - Romney
http://rt.com/news/romney-russia-enemy-obama-532/ [rt.com]

Re:You don't say... (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39487995)

>>>Given the level of understanding you displayed, it'd probably be best to not vote until you've spent more time understanding politics

Juvenile. "When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things." Time to put-away the insults.

Aw, darn you. You beat me to it. (1)

Travoltus (110240) | more than 2 years ago | (#39487597)

Well done for pointing that one out, though. :D

Re:You don't say... (5, Insightful)

wisty (1335733) | more than 2 years ago | (#39487599)

Also, were it not for western industrial espionage against China, we wouldn't have paper or porcelain or tea.

The US doesn't steal commercial know-how because they already have plenty. China is decades behind (in some areas), and can benefit a lot from acquiring foreign IP.

In fact, China's subsidies of industrial inputs (land, energy, water, steel, etc) are there to drag in foreign manufacturing. Want to guess why they want everything made in China? It's so they can figure out how to make it themselves.

It's a hell of a lot better than invading resource-rich countries to try to build up your industrial base. And if no-one ever stole secrets, we'd still all be in the dark ages.

Re:You don't say... (4, Interesting)

marnues (906739) | more than 2 years ago | (#39487813)

Also, we expect our corporations to do their own espionage.

Re:You don't say... (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 2 years ago | (#39488019)

China is decades behind (in some areas), and can benefit a lot from acquiring foreign IP.

So... stealing IP from the US and giving it to China is some kind of Robin Hood Move?

Re:You don't say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39488123)

No it just makes more sense then stealing when your not decades behind. Besides it's not like the US hasn't been caught with it's hand in the cookie jar.

Re:You don't say... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39488369)

Glad to see the "well they did it so I can too" defense is alive and well.

Re:You don't say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39488289)

Also, were it not for western industrial espionage against China, we wouldn't have paper or porcelain or tea.

The US doesn't steal commercial know-how because they already have plenty. China is decades behind (in some areas), and can benefit a lot from acquiring foreign IP.

In fact, China's subsidies of industrial inputs (land, energy, water, steel, etc) are there to drag in foreign manufacturing. Want to guess why they want everything made in China? It's so they can figure out how to make it themselves.

It's a hell of a lot better than invading resource-rich countries to try to build up your industrial base. And if no-one ever stole secrets, we'd still all be in the dark ages.

and silk, gunpowder...

Re:You don't say... (0)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#39487677)

While I believe every sovereign power does that sort of stuff, citing an article about a cold war era technology like Echelon really doesn't add anything to your case.

Re:You don't say... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39488053)

While I believe every sovereign power does that sort of stuff, citing an article about a cold war era technology like Echelon really doesn't add anything to your case.

Cold war era technology? Echelon is still functioning, it is actively upgraded and the European Parliament made recommendations as late as 2001 to public and private EU organizations that they heavily increase their use of encryption technology and generally tighten security to defend against Echelon and other US industrial espionage efforts.

Re:You don't say... (1)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#39487713)

I want access to all the X-Files!

Re:You don't say... (3, Informative)

jd2112 (1535857) | more than 2 years ago | (#39488181)

I want access to all the X-Files!

You can probably view them ask on Hulu and/or Netflx.

Re:You don't say... (5, Insightful)

Dhalka226 (559740) | more than 2 years ago | (#39487971)

Does it bother anybody else that the source in question is as bad as it is?

I looked at the source for the claim that the US has engaged in industrial espionage, which points to a 194 page report from a European commission and which the person who made the claim is clearly hoping was too long for anybody to read.

The only point relevant to the claim is this:

The United States readily admits that some of its intelligence service's activities also concern industry. This includes, for example, monitoring of the observance of economic sanctions, compliance with rules on the supply of weapons and dual use goods, developments on commodities markets and events on the international financial markets. The rapporteur's findings are that the US services are not alone in their involvement in these spheres, nor is there any serious criticism of this.

In other words, the industrial espionage they know about is something they aren't even willing to criticize.

Further along, under a big heading "Is ECHELON suitable for industrial espionage?" they go on to explain that if it finds any, it was an accident.

The strategic monitoring of international telecommunications, can produce useful information for industrial espionage purposes, but only by chance. In fact, sensitive industrial information is primarily to be found in the firms themselves, which means that industrial espionage is carried out primarily by attempting to obtain the information via employees

(their emphasis)

In other words, they took two paragraphs and three bullet points to say "no, they wouldn't bother using ECHELON for this."

It is followed by a chart of cases of industrial espionage (with no explanation as to how they arrived at any of the entries), and the only entry that may relate to ECHELON (rather than using an agent or taking photographs) is a 1994 NSA action where they intercepted calls and faxes related to how Airbus was bribing Saudi Arabian officials to win a contract. Those dastardly Americans! It's so rude to use spy on the competition when they're just trying to bribe somebody. Gosh! And yet still, I'm just supposing this entry is in any way related to ECHELON since it makes no such claim.

I am not claiming the US does not engage in this kind of behavior; they probably do, and for all I know they've been caught red-handed at it too. But this report is not proof of that, even if we were to take Wikipedia as a great source of anything to begin with.

Re:You don't say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39488221)

mod the man up.

Re:You don't say... (2)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 2 years ago | (#39488041)

Yeah, it is not as though the US uses its own signals intelligence agency to spy on foreign businesses and pass R&D secrets to domestic firms...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ECHELON#Controversy [wikipedia.org]

So the two big claims are one of uncovering a bribery ring (hard to say that it is nefarious to report a crime) and one of passing along secrets about wind power despite the company in question filing a patent for said technology some two years before they were "gifted" this information?

Sounds *just like* the endless parade of reports about china-based attackers specifically breaking in to US and international firms in search of IP. /sarcasm

It's not as though US executives don't hand over (2)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 2 years ago | (#39488227)

Processes, secrets, entire facilities wholesale to China.

Domestic troubles? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39487495)

Bla bla foreign threats bla bla patriotism.

Re:Domestic troubles? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39488037)

I just loved all the evidence this "guy who wants a well paid job for a private security firm whos going to make a fortune selling useless security measures" gives.

He's way ahead of you. (3, Informative)

semi-extrinsic (1997002) | more than 2 years ago | (#39488283)

I think you meant something like this (from Wikipedia):

Clarke is currently Chairman of Good Harbor Consulting, a strategic planning and corporate risk management firm;

Nothing like spreading FUD when your dayjob is selling "risk management".

Re:Domestic troubles? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39488107)

Bla bla focus on USA bla bla don't look in the mirror

Having worked for a few firms... (4, Interesting)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 2 years ago | (#39487511)

Having worked for a few firms in the IT division, I can say this isn't surprising...at all. Between clueless management and the inability to grasp IT's value and contribution to a company, it'd have been news if they HADN'T been cracked wide open.

When you mix in outsourcing, the argument can almost be made that this is exactly what these firms WANT to happen.

Re:Having worked for a few firms... (1)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 2 years ago | (#39487531)

*is, not isn't. It's one of those days.

Re:Having worked for a few firms... (5, Informative)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 2 years ago | (#39487875)

The accountants have a point.

Sales make money. You cost money.

Which would you maximize and which would you minimize? A cost center or a profit center? That is business 101.

I always advice IT people to work in a technology company. Otherwise you will always be undervalued and underpaid. Same is true if you are a financial wizard. You can make a good upper middle class salary at a regular company. However, working at a bank you will be a multi millionaire instead with that background because you add value and contribution to your company MUCH more.

In the past we were once valued as profit centers and assets as great productivity gains were realized switching to computers then desktops, then spreadsheets, email, and so on and so on. Today, a nerd is not someone who can turn on a PC and use a formula in a spreadsheet. Everyone can do this. Therefore, we do not offer anything of important value except when something blows up.

Anyway the risk is well worth the effort of massively increased sales and low cost labor. As long as the share price goes up and the CFO and CEO can get their bonuses from the cost savings and profit center increases then all is good even if it does get hacked.

Re:Having worked for a few firms... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39487917)

Fundamentally disagree. IT costs money, but they are an asset to the company. No IT department and you have ultimately no sales. That's the problem I have with bean counters - the inability to see the bigger integral picture. They only see line items.

Nortel's security guy recently spilled the beans to the press about how Nortel was hacked for many years and little was done about it despite his protestations. One can legitimately wonder if Nortel's downfall can at least be partly explained by corporate or government espionage that went on for many years unabated.

Re:Having worked for a few firms... (3, Insightful)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 2 years ago | (#39488217)

Is electricity a cost or an asset? It is a cost. Yes, without it you can't do much but cheap electricity is no different than expensive electricity. Why pay? The less electricity you need the less valuable it is.

Now if you were Amazon and needed your own hydroelectric plant for your cloud then it is more valuable and it is more of an asset and it would even make you money bordering a profit center.

If you work for a company making fish sticks (example), having contractors part time during the harvest and maybe just the bare minimum to survive for the rest of year freezing and packaging your product makes business sense. Investing in good distribution and sales teams to sell to grocery stores are far more important. maybe using expensive freezers that do not break. But I.T.? What value does that provide to the customer? Zero. They are paying for fish sticks. Not for Windows 7 deployments and upgrading to IE 8. So staying with IE 6 and XP for them gives the CFO and CEO a bonus as Wall Street agrees with this.

Work at Microsoft however, and you will get paid very handsomely if you make great contributions to the bottom line. Sorry, but I only am the messenger here. The .com days are over and its time to move on. Go work in an I.T. company or even a contracting company doing consulting if you have your experience and you will be paid well. Otherwise you are a cost there to make sure nothing breaks. Unless you can think of a magical way companies can increase their sales or cut their cost from your ideas? Have any?

Re:Having worked for a few firms... (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 2 years ago | (#39487985)

True, 100% true. I wish I still had mod points.

Re:Having worked for a few firms... (1)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 2 years ago | (#39488117)

In the past we were once valued as profit centers and assets as great productivity gains were realized switching to computers then desktops, then spreadsheets, email, and so on and so on. Today, a nerd is not someone who can turn on a PC and use a formula in a spreadsheet. Everyone can do this. Therefore, we do not offer anything of important value except when something blows up.

This is precisely the attitude I was talking about; management and bean counters fail to appreciate just how important IT is. You only touch on one, very small, aspect of our jobs. In fact, IT holds as much, if not more, liability as HR; we protect the company in countless ways, and accordingly, our skillsets need to be varied. I need to be at least semi-competent in every skill set necessary to successfully run a company; HR, legal, finance, project management to name the generics, not to mention the specific core competency of the business. And then, on top of all of that, I need to be an expert in various IT technologies. If I fail in any of those responsibilities, I expose the company to serious liability ( oh, you were ignorant of some obscure PCI requirement? Fined. Oh, you didn't realize employee records needed to be handled a certain way legally? Fined. ect... ).

That's what IT is about; not building workstations or servers. It's managing the information in the corp, with the goal to create an efficient organization.

Re:Having worked for a few firms... (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 2 years ago | (#39488321)

It is the same in other industries as well and other professions. We are not alone.

  My example including a financial analyst working for a bank vs a regular company. If you are a lawyer you can make a TON MORE money and be valued if you are part of the bottom line in a law firm instead of a regular office latchkey in a fortune 1000 company.

This cost cutting emphasis is the new rage as CFOs and not product engineers are becoming the next wave of CEOs. This is why Apple is doing so well, while their rivals race towards the bottom etc.

Everyone who is not part of the bottom line directly is being understaffed and underpaid. Go join a .com or software company and you will be respected and paid more. It would not surprise me if they under pay the lawyers and accountants in these companies though ;-)

Re:Having worked for a few firms... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39488379)

Take a step back and look at how frequently and how high those fines you mentioned actually are. Basically if you can prove you're making a half-assed effort they will just shake their finger at you and ask you to fix it. You sir, are the half-assed effort. The risk/reward ratio is clearly in favor of minimizing you.

Re:Having worked for a few firms... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39488267)

Well, you're obvious someone who lives in Theoretical Land (tm).

a) No, not everyone can use a formula in a spreadsheet. Many can barely turn on a computer.

b) Idiot companies see IT as a cost, smart ones look at IT as a maintenance contract: you pay a certain amount per year to make sure things stay running and make sure if something really bad happens, you're not hit with giant downtime and huge expenses of bringing in emergency help.

Re:Having worked for a few firms... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39488327)

Sales people cost money just like IT people do.

There are only two reasons to hire people: they bring in more money than they cost, or they save more money than they cost. IT is of the second category but IT managers aren't very good at presenting the facts compared to sales managers.

I'm pretty sure the accountants know this, IT is just an easy target for cuts because so many managers don't seem to understand their businesses.

Bah (0)

M0j0_j0j0 (1250800) | more than 2 years ago | (#39487517)

It's called a war , deal with it, it won't change, it has never changed.

Re:Bah (1)

Fwipp (1473271) | more than 2 years ago | (#39487581)

You'd think if we were at war with China, somebody would have told us by now.

Re:Bah (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39487621)

We have always been at war with Eastasia.

Re:Bah (4, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39487637)

We've always been at war with China. Err, Russia, Err, Drugs.

Hell, we're always at war with somebody! Even if it's just cancer.

USA! USA! USA!

Nailed it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39487965)

If you were trying to describe the most lucrative business model this world has ever seen, then you did an outstanding job.

(For those of you who don't get it, the magic formula is continuous war.)

Re:Bah (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 2 years ago | (#39487983)

*golf clap*

Re:Bah (1)

Sir_Eptishous (873977) | more than 2 years ago | (#39488345)

These "we've always been at war with" posts should only be moddable when they are a direct reference to 1984.

Re:Bah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39487673)

It's called a CYBER-war

Fixed that for you.

Re:Bah (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 2 years ago | (#39487821)

It's called a CYBER-war

Fixed that for you.


Is that like cyber-sex, where you only end up diddling yourself?

Re:Bah (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 2 years ago | (#39488075)

Actually it used to be called industrial espionage, but that just makes it sound like some evil corporation is on the loosing end and doesn't get the little people's blood boiling.

Hmmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39487559)

I think that makes this Richard Clarke guy a lying sack of shit. Seriously.

We don’t hack our way into... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39487563)

Haa Haa. Whot a load of bollocks. (To quote from 2&0.5men)

You do so. When you can. Your concern about chinese hardware as a security risk is also because you know you do that too. But saying that would sent the wrong message. Your the good guys, right. Good luck with that storyline, I here there's a sailor down the the dock with a pipe who's buying.

Riiiiight. (5, Insightful)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39487565)

The government routinely shares information with its defense contractors. Where that information comes from? The corporation does not ask.

We are spying but.. (5, Insightful)

Galestar (1473827) | more than 2 years ago | (#39487577)

...we don't do the same kind of spying they do. Our spying is okay, theirs is evil.

Food for thought (2, Informative)

schrodingersGato (2602023) | more than 2 years ago | (#39487605)

Yeah its underhanded and shitty, but if we keep playing by the same rules, awe shouldn’t be surprised when nations life china surpass us. I’m not saying I agree with their practices at all, but this is a new reality that needs to be accepted and overcome.

What? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39487607)

Did he just admit that his government hacks into other governments computer systems to steal diplomatic and military secrets? Did obama not say that cyber warfare like that is testimount to an act of war? If it's not and its ok for them to do it why are they trying to get that uk civilian hacker Gary Mckinnon for doing the same thing to them and saying its wrong and illegal when he did it to them but not when they do it themselves?

Re:What? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39487739)

War is good now.

Disagree? You are obviously racist.

Sooo.... (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39487617)

Is corporate America going to stop doing business in/with China? I don't think so...

sue them (1)

Nyall (646782) | more than 2 years ago | (#39487633)

I'm wondering when/if a U.S. company is going to sue China and go after their assets. Namely the Chinese government's stake in U.S. debt.

Economic Espionage (2)

larsl (30423) | more than 2 years ago | (#39487649)

Clarke is either wrong or lying. It is documented that the CIA spies on Airbus to help Boeing get contracts.

Re:Economic Espionage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39487747)

We don't steal technological information from China because right now, they don't have anything we don't already have. We haven't been solidly behind another nation on that one since the mid 19th century. Tied, maybe; behind, no.

And in the mid-19th century, we didn't have the slightest qualm about using industrial espionage against British companies to give our domestic industry a leg up. And why should we, for that matter?

Re:Economic Espionage (4, Interesting)

Aviation Pete (252403) | more than 2 years ago | (#39488133)

We don't steal technological information from China because right now, they don't have anything we don't already have. We haven't been solidly behind another nation on that one since the mid 19th century. Tied, maybe; behind, no.

And in the mid-19th century, we didn't have the slightest qualm about using industrial espionage against British companies to give our domestic industry a leg up. And why should we, for that matter?

What a load of US-centic jingoism!

What about jet engines? You had to borrow them from Britain first and then needed Germans to build them in the US (Gerhard Neumann [wikipedia.org] ). What about rockets? Same thing here (von Braun and his team [wikipedia.org] ). Even such mundane things like butter production were revolutionized after the US learned about all the German technology after 1945.

I am sure there are some technological gems in some corners in China which are already superior to all US tech. And they get bigger and more numerous, not least because of an attitude like yours.

Re:Economic Espionage (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39487789)

There is one documented instance where the CIA 'spied on airbus.'

The CIA actually was spying on Saudi Arabia. What they found was that Airbus was bribing saudi arabia to get a big contract. So the NSA spilled the beans, the corruption was rooted out, and Boeing ended up getting the contract.

Do you call that industrial espionage?

I should also note that in the US, it is illegal to bribe foreign governments. This law is enforced, and executives have gone to jail for it...

Re:Economic Espionage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39487919)

.. but it is completely okay/acceptable for American corporations to bribe the American government? ..... I don't know what to say to that.

Re:Economic Espionage (2)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 2 years ago | (#39487951)

"Do you call that industrial espionage?"

Yes. Is it right? I don't know. Is it state-sanctioned/conducted industrial espionage? Absolutely.

"I should also note that in the US, it is illegal to bribe foreign governments."

That doesn't have anything at all to do with it. US laws don't apply except in the US. If American companies don't like those laws, or can't compete under them, they can try to have them changed.

"we don't do that".... (1, Insightful)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#39487651)

Those are the words of somebody who is feeling more than just a tad defensive, and trying to justify their own actions because of how they know it would look.

I'm not saying he was lying, but from where I sit, it sure looked like he was just trying to make excuses.

It just seems to scream points #7, #9, and #14 from this list [ethicsscoreboard.com] , and raises some red flags, at least.

Unfortunately, national security trumps "ethics". (1)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 2 years ago | (#39487909)

When you are dealing with such a subject of industrial espionage, the first obligation is to defend the country. While you might be able to use some random site's recommendations to make a case against it, national security will trump them every time. Whether it is some offshoring lobby, industrial espionage, or some other group that wants to attack the US, the author is correct to say how bad it is.

But don't let facts get in the way of your anti-American beliefs.

Over-globalization is the problem here. (4, Insightful)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 2 years ago | (#39487681)

This is what we get when we get too friendly with nations that are still despotic in nature, reserving freedom for the few businesses and not the many. They are used to take away freedom from people under the canard of "competitiveness", something that is only used to wash the blood from indefensible actions.

Shame we can't have a national security directive to kill offshoring - since it is about the only thing that can kill this for good. It may not be the cleanest answer, but it is the one that cuts the lobbyists out of the equation. If we want offshoring, it cannot be in the current form - a form that is only used as retribution for successes and security gained by First World citizens. It must be in a form that clearly prioritizes citizens of all skill levels first for hiring and training (to get rid of the skill-level complaints) for long-term & direct hire jobs (to obliterate the permatemp culture); it cannot be simply a way to exact concessions in the name of Ricardian economics.

Yes, all America does is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39487685)

...spy on its own country and try to put everyone in a jail cell.

If you can't control them, jail them. T'is the American way me laddy!

He said (2)

future assassin (639396) | more than 2 years ago | (#39487689)

'The U.S. government is involved in espionage against other governments. There’s a big difference, however, between the kind of cyberespionage the United States government does and China.

Kinda like

'The U.S. government is involved in torture against non US citizens There’s a big difference, however, between the kind of torture the United States government does and China.

what? (1)

Xamataca (921539) | more than 2 years ago | (#39487691)

Excuse me sir, we don't spy on your business, nor on your private life, we are honest spies!!!

This so called "cybersecurity advisor" is either naive or a blatantly liar...

Airbus you say? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39487709)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/820758.stm

The first came from a Baltimore Sun report which said the European consortium Airbus lost a $6bn contract with Saudi Arabia after NSA found Airbus officials were offering kickbacks to a Saudi official.

The paper said the agency "lifted all the faxes and phone-calls between Airbus, the Saudi national airline and the Saudi Government" to gain this information.

And this is only the part they had to make public so that Airbus lose. How much more does the NSA knows?

Re:Airbus you say? (1)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 2 years ago | (#39487931)

Shame that the NSA hasn't used this to kill the offshoring lobby given how influential the NSA's information can be. They'd be actually doing their job and repelling countries like China as well.

In other news... (2)

k6mfw (1182893) | more than 2 years ago | (#39487763)

the grass is green and the sky is blue.

<gripe> I mean really, what else do you expect. Don't outsource design and manufacturing to China like so many US companies have done. Cylon kill switches anyone?
</gripe>

Chinese are bastards (1, Redundant)

benjfowler (239527) | more than 2 years ago | (#39487765)

Yeah, the red Chinese are utterly morally bankrupt at an individual, as well as a national level. I've seen how mainland Chinese operate, up close and personal. And the West has had decades to wake up to the threat from the rising superpower that always refuses to play by the rules.

Part of me says that the US corporate Right are full of weak, greedy idiots. And weak, greedy idiots always come a cropper sooner or later. The trouble with this situation, is that the corporate Right, in their weakness and folly, will take the West down with them. Whether it's gaming regulators, dismantling institutions, undermining government, or engaging in outright corruption, they match the Chinese in their immorality, but don't share the Chinese' rat-cunning, sense of patriotism, loyalty to their own culture -- or sense of self-preservation.

Doesn't excuse the behaviour of the Chinese though. They need to be given a bloody nose.

Conflict of Interest? (4, Informative)

Jim Buzbee (517) | more than 2 years ago | (#39487795)

I don't doubt that a lot of cyber-spying is going on, but also note that Clarke is now CEO of Good Harbor Consulting [goodharbor.net] , which coincidentally makes a boatload of money dong Cyber consulting. The more frenzy he whips up, the more money he rakes in.

Re:Conflict of Interest? (4, Insightful)

zbobet2012 (1025836) | more than 2 years ago | (#39487949)

While it is true he makes more money the bigger the frenzy, keep in mind that doesn't necessarily mean he is incorrect or acting immorally. If he believes there is a problem, thinks there is a market for fixing it, and is attempting to raise awareness of the problem he may way be acting in a correct manner. In short conflict of interest is not proof of incorrectness.

So yes by all means take him him with a grain of salt, but also actually look at the evidence he presents.

Re:Conflict of Interest? (1)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 2 years ago | (#39488323)

>> dong Cyber consulting

Dammit! The Chinese have turned him too!

we do it.. it's just not that bad (1)

cod3r_ (2031620) | more than 2 years ago | (#39487859)

it's not as bad as china cause we say so.. so there.. SOLID ARGUMENTS!!

it's all the same ol.... (1)

3seas (184403) | more than 2 years ago | (#39487879)

....bull shit, upon bull shit upon ....repeat to infinity.... spy vs. spy idiocy as seen in MAD mag.

It's called payback (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39487953)

Remember about 200 years ago when the US was just starting out? We didn't acknowledge IP then either, in fact we blatantly flaunted it to get where we are today. Acting like China is somehow the bad guy for doing the exact same thing we've done in the past is completely asinine.

Why Hack When We Give It Away (4, Insightful)

geoffrobinson (109879) | more than 2 years ago | (#39487963)

If you want access to China's market, you have to build in China. And if you are building in China, China is figuring out how you build things.

Re:Why Hack When We Give It Away (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 2 years ago | (#39488099)

There is a good point here. It may also be useful to point out that it has been the goal of the United States as national policy has been capitalizing China since the 70's, so its not like the dragon suddenly roared up and bit us on the ass in a surprise move. Except to the US workers, who've not been included in the logistics of this thing. Americans grouse about this and complain that jobs are going to Asia and all that. But the plain fact of the matter is that China is a huge market. If you give it money it will spend it. That's been the plan all along since Nixon was there in '72.

What good is it? (2)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | more than 2 years ago | (#39488007)

Most large companies I've worked for won't use the *published* best practices of companies like Google or Microsoft, what makes anyone think that a large company can make any use of secret information that can't be verified?

The Chinese are upfront about it (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 2 years ago | (#39488013)

They will downright tell you that if you want to operate in our country you need to give us some of our IP. If it is very valuable maybe in return we can make a deal and have our government even buy your products.

Mitt Romney condemned this as it is a known practice. I assume by refusing they will hack into your network anyway to get it. You might as well voluntarily share and a favor from some of these corrupt officials can go a very long way for your company as they have many connections in the industry over there.

Many companies do not care. They increase in sales and cost savings from cheap labor are well worth the effort to help boost its shareprice and give the CEO and CFO a nice fat bonus they desire. Presidents who care about the company are old school and reserved for private companies.

Re:The Chinese are upfront about it (1)

lamer01 (1097759) | more than 2 years ago | (#39488301)

In the short term, yes. Long term, you lose.

Oy Vey! (5, Insightful)

alexborges (313924) | more than 2 years ago | (#39488017)

"The U.S. government is involved in espionage against other governments. There’s a big difference, however, between the kind of cyberespionage the United States government does and China. The U.S. government doesn’t hack its way into Airbus and give Airbus the secrets to Boeing [many believe that Chinese hackers gave Boeing secrets to Airbus]. "

Here is a hint: start doing it, you dumbasses. Im no expert in chinese culture, but i've been studying their story with reverse engineering and the way they've built their home industry to come to the conclusion that, to the chinese, this is business as usual.

You may be appalled by it, you may cringe with moral sentiment (and stubborn western-european hypocrisy), but you don't just stand there. Have a strategy to take a blow-by-blow approach to this and counterattack.... and maybe then you will realize all your strict IP laws and magical thinking make no sense at all in this brave new world.

Snap out of it NOW!

Yet More Proof of my Theory... (1)

humphrm (18130) | more than 2 years ago | (#39488043)

"Communist" China is no more. China is state run capitalism.

Re:Yet More Proof of my Theory... (0)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 2 years ago | (#39488171)

Or as it was once called: Fascist.

Adapt or Lose (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39488147)

Just as for Guerilla Warfare: If you are not prepared to ignore ethics/morality to the same extent as your enemy then (in most cases) you will lose.

I'll try to hit a few points (4, Insightful)

HBI (604924) | more than 2 years ago | (#39488165)

1. To China, US technological superiority in the commercial sector IS a national security issue, so Clarke is just being disingenuous here. If the US were in the same role, we'd steal their commercial secrets, too. The fact that we don't want to just illustrates the advantage.

2. If we hadn't outsourced the more polluting and less skill intensive parts of our manufacturing base, we wouldn't be in this position.

2a. I know the thought pattern - I had it as a child back in the 70s - it was the "brown hordes" thought. What would happen if all the poor people in the world stormed the borders of the US? To avoid that, it sort of compels our hand to distribute the wealth and make this less desirable. So we did. Made it easy as hell for companies to outsource operations to the former Third World.

2b. The delusion started when people like GHW Bush claimed that we'd have an information economy. So the only advantage that the US would have was information? We'd all sit in offices and type things to each other? Seems like an invitation for people to steal our information and produce stuff that we can no longer produce ourselves.

At this point the whole plan looks like a suicide pact. Leave H1B out of it, and it's still a disaster. The tards in power aren't connecting the dots, even now.

A high horse "We don’t do that. ..." (3, Insightful)

OldHawk777 (19923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39488207)

The EU, US, and others need to get off our high Pre-WWI moralistic espionage horse. Cyber-espionage is a pre-WWIII essential to national security and may be the only way to prevent WWIII nation-devastation.

A tit-4-tat cyber-cold-war is the best way to keep the government of CN from perceiving US, EU, and RU as virtual-tigers, and/or having foolish corporate interest politicians enter into a vintage pre-WWII "Appeasement Peace Conference" with CN.

We need to start state cyber-espionage to obtain all domestic, diplomatic, economic, corporate, and military information and appropriately share with US, EU, and RU ... countries and companies.

As they have exploited US and EU, so must we exploit CN. Do it now or regret it later.

Really, Moral High Ground. (1)

databaseadmin (1978316) | more than 2 years ago | (#39488279)

Really?!?

Did we just see a spy try to claim some kind of moral high ground by defining what he would and would not collect? Spying is Spying. It is an immoral act that if used to protect me/us from getting killed by an enemy obtains 'acceptability' through an 'ends justifies the means' argument.

Its war (5, Insightful)

AdmV0rl0n (98366) | more than 2 years ago | (#39488383)

The West was on top. So its a target. Its values are oppsed by the enemy.

War comes in multiple forms. There isn't any requirement for someone to fight you directly. The lessons of this are available through history. The problem is that in general, the population is cretinously stupid. In the west, in america, and prevelent on Slashdot.

The chinese long ago choose war with the west. And yes, this white house commentry is correct. Its years late to the party though. The chinese choose to make information and IP collection a military grade target, and applied military level resources to the task in hand.

In exchange for taking all your information, IP and data, they then went back to said companies and said - we can do what you do, at a 10th of the price.
Que economic damage doubled.

At no point have I see anything - anywhere thats showing any willingness to even begin to face up to this challenge.

Cutting to the chase, they do not have to use bombs and direct weapons to eliminate your factories, to commit economic damage, to diminish your state, lower your standard of living, and damage your way of life. If the end justifies the result - then its a valid technical stragetic aim. Its been and remains a highly effective strategic application of a militaristic and political plan.

Assuming nothing is done, and its simply allowed to continue, then you will simply see a spiralling issue of damage here, and benefit there. A zero sum game that favours only one side.

And there is no simple answer. In the west, we're so stupid, over payed, flabby, lazy and ill led that it will be a long time before an equalisation of fundamentals allows a reverse of the flow. American or Euro workers will still be paid many times the cost of a chinese worker. Even if you steal back the tech at a later date, the damage is largely done because you can't undercut enough to make stuff at the same cost level. But your structure will still have to pay out multiple times the cost to the now millions of unemployed. Que strike 3 of the cost of the enemy strategic plan.

And how will you defend yourselves?
With windows based networks that are an unholy security mess?
With a military thats suffering the same windows based security mess?
With open source software bases that however anyone might paint it, has enough security issues that its not a trivial issue?

All of these are treated like a play ground by the enemy. A proverbial open door.
Security worsens every day, and in the west IT is in most places simply treated as a red headed step child and an overhead people would like to eradicate if they could.

Until companies and governments get serious, its only going to worsen. And while this is the state of play - with no penalty for the chinese - its well worth playing to a very full extent. At the end of the day, in the west, as the unemployed grow, eventually your customers will dwindle. The fact you get your shit made in the enemy factory now won't help you find exhausted customers in your home lands, and you are not going to outsell Lenovo in china to make up the now drastic shortfall. In the end, binning your own workers in exchange for cheap goods made in china has a culmative effect in you losing your own customers. The unemployed can't really buy from you, and that will turn to bite sooner or later.

It could be ended tommorow assuming some spine can be found.
A singular threat of complete bans on any chinese imports - on scale and across the western would would have sobering affect on the chinese. And at the same time reparations and damages should gained. And some spine should be found, because everyone basically knows this is going on, and has been for an extended period.

China does not give a shit about you, or the west. It will under cut you, subsidise fuel to its operations, steal your data, rob you of your intellectual property, and take your job or life away from you. Its operating on the correct directive which is self interest. The nations and people's suffering at this policy - need to understand that its no use playing possom. Being sanguine about this won't stop it, slow it or provide an answer. It_must be addressed.

At the moment, no one is quite willing to do this.

At some stage, democracies and the west will see some final figures and data from the losses, and a slow process of anger will start to take place. Late. Slow, Stupid.

At some point in future history, you might ask yourself, or those round you - what were you doing while the chinese were raping you and yours.

 

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