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Evidence Aside, FBI Says Russians Out To Steal Ideas From US Tech Firms

timothy posted about 8 months ago | from the post-bolsheviks-in-the-washroom dept.

Crime 132

v3rgEz (125380) writes "It sounds like a scare from 1970s Cold War propaganda or a subplot from the popular TV series "The Americans," but the FBI says the threat is real: Russian investment firms may be looking to steal high-tech intelligence from Boston-area companies to give to their country's military. Many of the firms under scrutiny are in the Boston area, including those partnered with a number of area biotech companies and with ties to MIT." And while the FBI says this could be happening, as the article points out, this pronouncement seems to be based on plausibility rather than specific incidents of such theft. One relevant excerpt: "The FBI warning comes as the Obama administration has increased pressure on Russia for its annexation of the former Ukrainian territory of Crimea by levying sanctions on some business leaders close to President Vladimir Putin. In March, the US Commerce Department banned new licenses for the export to Russia of defense-related products and “dual-use” technologies that could have military applications."

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I've worked with many Russians... (2)

Kenja (541830) | about 8 months ago | (#46694047)

what they'll do is take the design, and implement a very cheap poorly implemented knock off. No real threat in my opinion...

Re:I've worked with many Russians... (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46694095)

Are you sure you're not thinking of the Chinese?

Re:I've worked with many Russians... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46694129)

Linux is illegal! You are breaking the law, and hurting yourself and your family with your ILLEGAL SOFTWARE. Your ip has been noted and is being forwarded to the SPA with a reccomendation that they investigate your CRIMINAL ACTIVITY. Please destroy all your unpatriotic linux software before the government finally cracks down on you people and you all end up as lampshades or soap.

Re:I've worked with many Russians... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46694145)

Are you saying that this linux can run on a computer without windows underneath it, at all ? As in, without a boot disk, without any drivers, and without any services ?

That sounds preposterous to me.

If it were true (and I doubt it), then companies would be selling computers without a windows. This clearly is not happening, so there must be some error in your calculations. I hope you realise that windows is more than just Office ? Its a whole system that runs the computer from start to finish, and that is a very difficult thing to acheive. A lot of people dont realise this.

Microsoft just spent billions of dollars and many years to create Windows 8, so it does not sound reasonable that some new alternative could just snap into existence overnight like that. It would take billions of dollars and a massive effort to achieve. IBM tried, and spent a huge amount of money developing OS/2 but could never keep up with Windows. Apple tried to create their own system for years, but finally gave up and moved to Intel and Microsoft.

Its just not possible that a freeware like the Linux could be extended to the point where it runs the entire computer fron start to finish, without using some of the more critical parts of windows. Not possible.

I think you need to re-examine your assumptions.

Re:I've worked with many Russians... (1)

AutodidactLabrat (3506801) | about 8 months ago | (#46696301)

not only is it possible to run linux without Windows, the live-CD version lives with no hard drive (where Windows exists) AT ALL.
Computers without Windows exist NOW and are sold NOW. BUT, and you knew there was one, the PC vendors have no choice but to buy a license for each or else pay per-install prices (typically 240% - 400% of OEM pricing) for ALL their product.
Weep for free enterprise, that a Micro$ can force such a contract on providers.

Re:I've worked with many Russians... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 8 months ago | (#46694209)

Kim, take your pills, will ya?

Re:I've worked with many Russians... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46694229)

That's precisely what people said about the Chinese and now so many people buy from them that China will be surpassing US economically and militarily. Lol

Re:I've worked with many Russians... (1)

gnick (1211984) | about 8 months ago | (#46694363)

The Chinese produce at least some very adequate imitations of foreign inventions, but the quality is inconsistent unless you're looking very closely at it. The French openly admit copying tech from the US (and presumably others). The Chinese may not openly admit to copying foreign designs, but it's readily apparent. I have no reason to believe that US companies don't have similar practices. And that counts double when it comes to military. As for a solution, I wish I had a friendly one, but practically the Chinese seem to be doing it right. Copying is cheap, manufacturing is cheap, inventing is expensive.

Re:I've worked with many Russians... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 8 months ago | (#46694607)

The Chinese may not openly admit to copying foreign designs, but it's readily apparent. I have no reason to believe that US companies don't have similar practices

No, that shit is for fools. Instead, we let someone else do the copying, and then we remarket the results at a massive markup. Or, we actually invent the shit that gets copied, and sell that at a massive markup over the massive markup until it gets copied too much, then we invent the next thing.

Granted, we import the inventors, but there's no reason that shouldn't be sustainable.

Re:I've worked with many Russians... (3, Informative)

Archtech (159117) | about 8 months ago | (#46694513)

If you're old enough, you can distinctly remember when exactly the same thing was said about Japanese products. (I refer to the post-WW2 period, roughly from 1950 to about 1970). Then Japanese products suddenly became synonymous with quality so high that most US companies couldn't begin to match it.

Re:I've worked with many Russians... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46694705)

Lean manufacturing - Toyota.

Nuff said.

Re:I've worked with many Russians... (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | about 8 months ago | (#46695217)

I do remember that time but the difference is the Japanese actually did implement better products. Witness the historic rise of Honda (and their recent epic fall) in the auto industry.

The same with camera lenses. Even today there are people who ask where a lens is made for Nikon or Canon, preferring those produced in Japan over those in China. Whether there is a true qualitative difference is debatable, but the perception remains. On this same subject, I'll leave out Zeiss and their lenses because they explicitly design high-quality lenses and the costs reflect that.

The difference, however, is that the Japanese do make quality products whereas Chinese made products are, for the most part, of inferior quality with either shoddy parts or lax quality control. Or both.

The same with Russia. While they might now be able to mass produce products, their quality is nowhere near what the rest of the industrialized world produces (with few exceptions).

Re:I've worked with many Russians... (3, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 8 months ago | (#46695825)

Japanese products were initially low quality too. There have been a few interesting books on the subject of the change. In particular, several Japanese companies focussed very heavily on quality control processes for about a decade, which allowed them to dramatically improve their quality. Over the same time, the Japanese people who had been responsible for copying the designs became sufficiently familiar with them that they were able to initially improve them and then produce better ones.

The main factor stopping Russia or China going through the same transition is institutionalised corruption. It's hard to implement good quality control if you can't trust the people doing the inspections not to take bribes...

oh no problem there (1)

globaljustin (574257) | about 8 months ago | (#46694407)

what they'll do is take the design, and implement a very cheap poorly implemented knock off.

Oh...psssht....that's **all**

wtf FBI? /sarcasm

"no real threat"....you're a moron

Re:I've worked with many Russians... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46694493)

Joseph McCarthy, is that you?

Re:I've worked with many Russians... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46694629)

As a hipster photographer who uses old Soviet-made lenses, I can attest that they're almost -- but not quite -- entirely unlike their western equivalents.

Re:I've worked with many Russians... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46694683)

Hubris... considering Yanks stole many great ideas from the Brits and French.

Boeing vs Airbus?
Steam train?
Supersonic flight?

I can go on.

Re:I've worked with many Russians... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46694739)

And the space race.

Even fuel in the EU is of higher quality than yanky shit.

Nobody wants to buy yanky shit becaue it is... shit.

Re:I've worked with many Russians... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46695199)

AK47, yeah jealous much that they got more customers for their gear than you have?

Re:I've worked with many Russians... (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 8 months ago | (#46695277)

Not really, some of the early computer tech they copied ended up being better than the original equipment. It's not like the west didn't get hints from Soviet designs either.

Re:I've worked with many Americans (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46695407)

and they just can't do a proper police state like the Russians could. They have the working design, templates for torture and everything, non persons, election systems that are for show and don't make a difference, they imprison even more people than the Soviets did, they've got their own security curtain now to keep out possible 'terrorists' and anyone who has ever talked to one, but they still haven't got their population fleeing abroad yet. No real threat, yet, ....

FBI dislikes competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46694101)

What do i care who steals my idea, the FBI or the russians? It is stolen either way

Big deal (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46694109)

US tech firms are out to steal ideas from everyone.

Re:Big deal (4, Insightful)

Vlad_the_Inhaler (32958) | about 8 months ago | (#46694787)

Snowden supplies some of the answers.
The GCHQ and NSA's surveillance of Italy specifically included looking for commercial advantages. It looks very much as though the same applies to Germany so it seems obvious what this is a general pattern. My first thought when I saw this article was that the FBI is trying to claim "everybody does it" - hell, they may even be right.
What annoyed the Germans so much was that it was their supposed friends acting this way.

Big Whoop (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46694131)

All governments use (or would if they were sufficiently large enough) their intelligence agencies to steal business intelligence from corporations located in other countries in order to help their own economy. The Russians didn't just start to do this now because of the Ukrainian crisis and US sanctions.

Re:Big Whoop (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46694203)

All men rape (or would if could get away with it) in order to satisfy their sexual needs. The Indians didn't just start to do this now because :whatever:.

Therefore men should continue raping, everybody does.

Re:Big Whoop (3, Insightful)

jythie (914043) | about 8 months ago | (#46694429)

I do not believe anyone is saying it should not stop, but outrage over any specific country that 'might' be doing it is rather silly. It is a bit like a front page story about a some celebrity everyone loves to hate going 50mph in a 45 zone. Yeah they shouldn't be speeding, but pretending that them doing it is something special is not terribly realistic.

Furthermore (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46694999)

If the NSA hadn't worked so hard to ensure that there were plenty of backdoors in our security protocols and hardware, it would be much harder for foreign intelligence agencies to exploit those backdoors.

Re:Big Whoop (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46695369)

No they don't. Their agents would be prosecuted in the homeland for crimes, if the host country wouldn't prosecute them first. Corporations, on the other hand would, if they could somehow import legally to the, say EU market, without summary confiscation and the destruction of the products. All in all, there is no point destroying the trust of your clients (citizens) and so losing them (having them turn to mafia) for short term advantage. Except when the mafias of Saint Pertesburg, excuse me, Leningrad and Moscow gives a model of how to conduct your domestic and foreign policies.

Re:Big Whoop (2)

timeOday (582209) | about 8 months ago | (#46695647)

The issue is that deteriorating relations reduce the negative consequences of negative actions. You don't have much incentive to play nice any more. Like how an employee who was trusted yesterday can be escorted from the building today, because he was let go.

Nothing to worry about lads (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46694141)

Ivan is drunk all the time!

looks like someones relevant again. (5, Insightful)

nimbius (983462) | about 8 months ago | (#46694147)

Either we're looking to justify 2014's budget, reduce inquiry into the CIA, or keep americans in agreement with the narrative that america should do something, anything, about russian foreign policy that in no way concerns us ever.

Re:looks like someones relevant again. (3, Insightful)

Immerman (2627577) | about 8 months ago | (#46694347)

Well, we are bound by multilateral treaty with Ukraine to defend their territorial borders from Russia. But hey, that's just some piece of paper from years ago, not like we should have to take it seriously today.

Re:looks like someones relevant again. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46694689)

No, we're not. It's just a memorandum of generalize assurances, specifically the Budapest Memorandum of 1994 [wikisource.org] . The only clause of the memorandum that remotely binds the signatories take any action (which is non military) is the fourth one:

The United States of America, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, reaffirm their commitment to seek immediate United Nations Security Council action to provide assistance to Ukraine, as a non-nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, if Ukraine should become a victim of an act of aggression or an object of a threat of aggression in which nuclear weapons are used.

Well, the US/Europe submitted a resolution to the UN Security council calling for a Russian withdrawal and got vetoed by Russia. That's all it can do using the Memorandum as a legal justification for UN action. Of course, the US and Europe can unilaterally take action, but there's no treaty in place with the Ukraine to legally obligate it.

Re:looks like someones relevant again. (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 8 months ago | (#46695005)

And skimming the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons nothing there would seem to obligate us to intervene either.

I stand corrected, thank you for clarifying that for me. In fact, the clause you quoted could easily be read such that we were not even obligated to seek UN action since nuclear weapons were not used. It seems like the whole memorandum is little more than a toothless declaration of intent. Russia clearly violated it's assurances under the memorandum, but there doesn't appear to be any explicit consequences associated with doing so.

In fact - considering that the accepted wisdom is that the primary benefit of nuclear weapons is that the threat of mutually assured destruction dissuades conflict between nuclear powers, it seems to me that there is precisely zero benefit to any non-nuclear power acceding to a non-proliferation treaty without defensive clauses unless it is doing so in exchange for concessions in other political arenas.

Re:looks like someones relevant again. (2, Informative)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | about 8 months ago | (#46694693)

We are not bound to defend Ukraine. That's a complete myth. Here are the 6 clauses of the Budapest Memorandum: http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/... [wikisource.org] Where does it say we are required to defend Ukraine?

Re:looks like someones relevant again. (1)

Arker (91948) | about 8 months ago | (#46695031)

1.) Simply not true, as another poster already pointed out adequately.
2.) Even if it were true, the legitimate successor government which has standing to invoke that treaty was just deposed in a putsch and it's clear that no one with standing to invoke that treaty has any desire to do so. (The fact that the US has been exposed standing behind that Putsch just makes it even less legitimate.)

Face it this is just a ginned up confrontation that does not need to be happening. The US is in such a dominant position today that our politicians feel free to wander around the world picking fights to boost their poll numbers.

Re:looks like someones relevant again. (0)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 8 months ago | (#46694367)

Due to Russia's activities in the Ukraine, the US is going to start giving all Russian enterprises a hard time, any way they can.

Re:looks like someones relevant again. (4, Insightful)

swb (14022) | about 8 months ago | (#46694783)

Russia is only as powerful as their economy, and the best way to counter them is to hobble them economically. It also is politically destabilizing internally.

Putin has a firm political grip, but the bargain is based on oligarchs making money and staying out of politics. If his foreign policy ambitions hurt enough economically it may begin to cost him political power. Even during the Soviet era leaders were eased out.

Re:looks like someones relevant again. (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 8 months ago | (#46695997)

Russia is only as powerful as their economy, and the best way to counter them is to hobble them economically. It also is politically destabilizing internally.

The difficulty is that Russia's economy is based on natural gas, which Europe doesn't have any alternatives for.
Welcome to the global economy.

Re:looks like someones relevant again. (1)

s.petry (762400) | about 8 months ago | (#46694855)

A mix of all of those things is the most obvious, and add some more to that list. Make the citizens 'fear' some country and dilute any alternative opinions on what's really happening are a couple to add.

It's foolish to think that Russia is a new threat, or bigger threat than China. China has a huge budget for espionage, Russia does not. Working in IT you will quickly find that the most sophisticated attacks are from China. Russia has a few but seem to focus primarily on black market and illegal activities, not espionage. I.E. Human trafficking, porn, pyramid schemes, and gambling content commonly comes from Russian servers for Botnets. These botnets are not also trying to break into Boeing's networks for schematics. China on the other hand has teams constantly trying to break in to Boeing.

The article sums itself up as someone spreading FUD over and over again, which is the most telling thing you should get reading the piece.

Fox News has taken over slashdot (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46694153)

WTF is "based on plausibility"? Many things are plausible, like the OP is an anime android using AI to submit this article?

Re:Fox News has taken over slashdot (4, Insightful)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 8 months ago | (#46694421)

WTF is "based on plausibility"? Many things are plausible

Yes, many things are plausible, but not all of those things will lead to an increase in the FBI's budget.

Re:Fox News has taken over slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46695051)

Plausible as in "We, the US are spying on / stealing IP from everybody"

Thus it is plausible that the Russians are doing the same.

But not everybody is a boundless A*hole like the US (commercial/political) leadership.

Re:Fox News has taken over slashdot (2)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | about 8 months ago | (#46695401)

Yeah, it's not like the Russians _just got fucking busted_ [wikipedia.org] for doing this.

Dipshit.

Pot, Kettle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46694175)

Obama ain't fooling anyone. One of the purposes of his global spy aparatus exposed by Snowden is industrial espionage.

Wow, just WOW (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46694197)

That is bordering on outright xenophobia, plain and simple.

based on plausibility (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 8 months ago | (#46694225)

The truthers have infiltrated the FBI! Well "based on plausibility", J. Edgar Hoover was buried in his favorite dress.

My only question is, Will any of this affect space station operations? Will the taxis raise their fares?

Smart move! (2)

Opportunist (166417) | about 8 months ago | (#46694227)

Instead of stealing from everyone else, let the US do that work and then simply lift it from them.

Never would've thought that Russia would be teaching us a lesson in efficiency...

Uh huh. (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 8 months ago | (#46694243)

See. It's not only the terrorists we're keeping you safe from, those damn evil Russkies are out there with a renewed vengeance fighting to foil your wholesome existence.

Fudmuckers.

Re:Uh huh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46694371)

See. It's not only the terrorists we're keeping you safe from, those damn evil Russkies are out there with a renewed vengeance fighting to foil your wholesome existence.

And the political dissidents. And the churches. And students who disagree with government policy. And people who would point out how unjust your financial system is.

The FBI (and the rest of the TLAs) are rapidly devolving into propaganda arms for state security, who will lie, cheat, steal, break the law, and otherwise do anything they damned well feel like.

They're rapidly becoming everything the US used to fear about the soviets ... because, quite frankly, the US looks more and more like cold-war USSR in terms of their "whatever we say goes" and "anything in the name of state security and secrecy".

America is fucked.

Re:Uh huh. (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 8 months ago | (#46694579)

Your post would seem plausible if Putin wasn't saber rattling.

Re:Uh huh. (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | about 8 months ago | (#46695477)

And if they hadn't just done it a few years ago. We caught them (Anna Chapman et al.) but how many have we not caught?

Re:Uh huh. (0)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | about 8 months ago | (#46695423)

Don't be a dumb asshole.

This is beyond plausible - it already fucking happened, you cynical hipster. Try educating yourself. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Uh huh. (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 8 months ago | (#46695769)

Right. Because if the FBI says they apprehended real live dangerous Ruskies we can believe them. They have a reputation for honesty, and would never lie!

Re:Uh huh. (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | about 8 months ago | (#46695911)

Shrug. If you're going to go all paranoid delusional on me and deny everything then I don't know what else to say. Maybe they are out to get you, who knows.

Re:Uh huh. (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 8 months ago | (#46696045)

" If you're going to go all paranoid delusional on me ..."

You could get away with saying that in 2012. Alas, it is 2014, and not considering the very distinct possibility that they are lying is the insanity in 2014.

Re:Uh huh. (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | about 8 months ago | (#46696247)

Yes. They lied. It's a huge conspiracy and Anna Chapman is a poor victim, as are the other 9. Nevermind that Russia traded US spies for their spies. Oh, and the UK must have been in on it too.

Get a fucking grip, you sound ridiculous.

Or...maybe that's just what 'they' want us to think, right? Lolzers.

Re:Uh huh. (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 8 months ago | (#46696425)

Maybe they lied. Maybe they didn't. You don't know if they did or didn't and I don't know if they did or didn't. You are a straight friggin idiot if you can't understand that.

Thanks to the NSA this is much easier (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46694323)

Well since the NSA has basically weakened a lot of the security protocols, it is very easy to steal company secrets.

Point the finger (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46694369)

When you own NSA is in the spotlight, use a time honored tactic and point the finger the other way.
We would NEVER stoop so low.

wait... (1)

jeff13 (255285) | about 8 months ago | (#46694387)

U.S. tech firms have ideas? Last I saw it was just a lot of - "how can I completely manipulate, patent troll, and keep an iron grip on this market"?

Really, if you think Facebook or Google is somehow a wonderful idea, you don't understand markets. It's also a major reason the US top tech firms are failures, really, and why they have to maintain those markets so no one notices. It's a self destructive cycle.

Re:wait... (2)

FuegoFuerte (247200) | about 8 months ago | (#46695433)

When I think "tech firm" in this context I don't think Facebook or Google so much as companies like Cisco and Juniper.

So let's help them out... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46694405)

By indescrimately weakening Internet security.

"evidence aside" (1)

globaljustin (574257) | about 8 months ago | (#46694417)

WTF the summary is biased..."evidence aside" says the headline...then the summary continues, drawing paralells between this and the Cold War

criminals do this **routinely**

to think otherwise is foolish and naive

Re:"evidence aside" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46694863)

Granted, but the point is that the FBI is raising a warning about the *possible* and the routine but not yearly routine nor specially relevant by recent criminal acts. Hence, "evidence aside" which would be that as much a Russian tech firms may be out to grab data from US tech firms, well, we have evidence that China has *actually* done so in recent years and the whole mess with the NSA is strong evidence the US is doing the same to other countries.

In fact, story after story is that intelligence agencies in many countries are engaged more often in economical "warfare"--more economic pie increasing to their advantage, unlike the normal warfare broken window syndrome--to further enrich "their"--preposterous for most multinational companies--tech firms than any real military "cyber warfare" to in some fashion attack the government or the people of other countries. To that end, the truth is closer to the point that each government is engaging in fascist rent-seeking on the part of corporations to indemnify themselves against any actual blame--again, multinational companies don't want to get punished for their activities in the country they're by proxy engaging in espionage on a rival company--and in part to have the tax payers bear the cost and general burden of all the infrastructure, espionage, etc that are very hard to do as a private company but very doable at the hand of the government*.

tl;dr FBI announces water wet, sky blue, US govt and companies doing the same thing--specific evidence not important since it's the Federal Bureau of [Obvious] Information, not the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

*And yea, in some places criminals also do it directly as well if the government can or will (if paid a small bribe) look the other way, but that's in many ways a point of the structural organization and I don't think any more "fair" to anyone no matter how warped some might view it as only important on how much the tax payer is paid or paying to support such "criminal" acts.

Re:"evidence aside" (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 8 months ago | (#46695211)

TFA is just as bad. The short version is that the FBI releases a general warning about Russian espionage, and a bunch of Russian VC firms swear they're not spying and have never heard of anyone doing such things.

I've spent my share of time in counter-intelligence briefings. I was never warned about mass surveillance, firmware backdoors, or any other high-tech techniques. Instead, what seemed to be the biggest threat was the risk of foreigners listening in on casual conversations, or picking up organizational details to find good targets to bribe. They're probably not trying to corrupt company executives (further) or researchers directly, but it's amazing what poorly-paid janitors have access to.

It's not just "plausible", but in fact likely, that the FBI has a lead that there are Russians operating in Boston. It's a general warning, because it's a general threat. It's not some specific VC firm or some specific technology that's being targeted. Rather, there's probably just evidence of somebody in the area looking for any tech information they can get.

criminals everywhere (1)

globaljustin (574257) | about 8 months ago | (#46696121)

It's not just "plausible", but in fact likely, that the FBI has a lead that there are Russians operating in Boston.

yes.

Putin is wearing the Patriots' owner's Super Bowl ring as we speak: http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/... [yahoo.com]

Sounds like a fair trade to me (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about 8 months ago | (#46694425)

Industrial secrets for sex with hot Russian spies [wikipedia.org] . Where do I sign up?

Politics aside, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46694439)

This is of course more than plausible. But the lack of evidence is more likely a function of our ridiculous "backdoors in everything" policy than lack of activity. One of the incredibly stupid things about having backdoors is that they actually HELP miscreants, not hinder.

Example: Anyone who has rented in an apartment building probably knows that the landlord has a master key "in case of emergencies". What they don't know is that any tenant can determine that master key combination by disassembling the lock using their own tenant key. In effect, having a master key might be convenient for the landlord living in blissful ignorance, but in terms of security it grants undetectable access to the worst element of any apartment building, not keeps them out.

Most people have no problem with three letter agencies doing their legal duties. But back doors, just like master keys, actually ASSIST the very people they think they're working against. It's the result of a fundamentally misguided and misinformed leadership with no idea of the consequences.

No, just no. (1)

RivenAleem (1590553) | about 8 months ago | (#46694447)

Anything that the Russians can get their hands on by simply working with regular US companies, is not going to give them sudden military advantages. Any military-relevant research happening in the US is happening in secret.

The kind of companies that the Russians are getting involved in are the type that will publicly announce any major breakthroughs or inventions on the web, because they are interested in domestic and foreign investment.

This is just another FUD statement to try reinforce hate directed at the Russians in order to generate acceptance when the next budget rolls around and we ask why Three Letter Agencies are still being given so much money for spying on citizens of the US.

Re:No, just no. (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 8 months ago | (#46694613)

"...happening in the US is happening in secret."
often by corporations, who need to be reminded that security is an on going process and not an install and forget item on a spreadsheet.

Re:No, just no. (1)

RivenAleem (1590553) | about 8 months ago | (#46694697)

While I agree that for some corporations, security is handled poorly, (not an expert on this, sorry) I would expect that any corporation that knows it's working on a military contract, is not the target of the FBI general alert of which comprises the subject of the article.

This alert is a general one to tech companies in the Boston area, and not to defense contractors. As if your average tech company might just happen to be working on something with massive military potential and not know it. This leads me to think that the only point of this is to spread fear of anything Russian just to give the government something to protect the public against.

Re:No, just no. (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 8 months ago | (#46695651)

This alert is a general one to tech companies in the Boston area, and not to defense contractors.

It's a warning to everybody. The truck driver of the shipping company can know what vendor's parts go into the secret Foo Bar research. One of those vendors may have an overeager sales rep, who's all too happy to boast that their widgets are used on the Foo Bar project. Those widgets are designed by an engineer, who might be easily bribed into tweaking the design to have some subtle change. It's immaterial to the widgets themselves, but when embedded in the final system it might be enough to compromise the Foo Bars when they're used in the field.

A contrived and convoluted example, but not terribly far-fetched. The supply chain for new technology is often pretty big, and there are many places that are vital enough and vulnerable enough to be worth attacking.

so encourage domestic investors (2)

Goldsmith (561202) | about 8 months ago | (#46694555)

Investing in companies is hardly what I would call stealing.

Foreign companies can come in and poach talent and taxpayer funded research from Universities and the startups that come out of them. There's nothing illegal or even remotely unethical there. This is what we wanted! Russian capitalists investing in US companies, US students and US schools. Even if their goal is to move the company to Russia, that's part of how capitalism and globalization work. If we want to encourage researchers to stay in the US, we should do more to encourage direct domestic investment in startups rather than secondary investments like hedge funds.

If we want to completely protect our basic R&D, we have to classify it. That would be sure to drive researchers out of the country.

Re:so encourage domestic investors (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 8 months ago | (#46694681)

VC invest in tech company. Tech company gets tech contract from government. Russia has a direct line to what that is.

Re:so encourage domestic investors (1)

schneidafunk (795759) | about 8 months ago | (#46695175)

Exactly! Think how many hard working people come to America from other countries to invest in their own education and then put that talent to work for the U.S. immediately afterwards.

Re:so encourage domestic investors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46695621)

Problem with Russians buying companies early is that they run the risk of disrupting the straight line to market and product redevelopment process by moving product to a new market. Russia has a history of buying companies and taking them home before it's a completed and launched product. Multiple companies where Russia basically bought it, closed up shop in the US, took it home, tried to implement it in their country first which ultimately needed lots of support(but without the key development team that initially built it in the US and a decent testing team) only to end up basically all the way at the beginning needing to spend 2-3 times as much to bring the product to the same point it was initially at in the US market.

FBI Shark Jump Victory Lap (3, Insightful)

TheCarp (96830) | about 8 months ago | (#46694571)

They did it!

Sure, you thought they had precious little to do when they started calling kids running DDOS scripts criminals. You knew it was bad the second and third times they created their own terrorist and handed him weapons from their own stockpile to arrest him with....

Now.... they are releasing politically motivated propaganda. Moving on up.

Its all bullshit (1)

cHiphead (17854) | about 8 months ago | (#46694587)

Everyone was stealing from each other the entire time, now the guys up top have to do their dick waving to match Russian's dick waving with Ukraine. We just felt left out of the dick waving contest so here we go again.

Re:Its all bullshit (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 8 months ago | (#46694707)

The FBI routinely releases information to business to describe potential vectors for security failures.
That is all this is.
This is a good thing, and it's something they should be doing.
'Hey, here is a possible threat, so keep an eye out'.
WTF is wrong with that?

May contain traces of irony (2)

Archtech (159117) | about 8 months ago | (#46694621)

Many years ago, I recall that the US government refused entry to certain Russian mathematicians coming to attend a major conference in the USA. The reason given was that the commies were obviously trying to steal good ol' American know-how. The funny part was that the Russians in question were actually the world experts at the time (in that particular field), so the only people who lost out were the American mathematicians who had hoped to learn from them.

It's one thing to have a policy of pretending that all worthwhile innovation originates in the USA. It's quite another thing to start believing that's true. (See, for example, Joy's Law: ""No matter who you are, most of the smartest people work for someone else”).

Re:May contain traces of irony (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 8 months ago | (#46694745)

I can't find any reference to that, link?

Oblig ... (1)

PPH (736903) | about 8 months ago | (#46694667)

Tom Lehrer [youtube.com]

Obviously we're trying to punish the Russians (2, Interesting)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 8 months ago | (#46694669)

And the method is sadly pretty silly.

Putin want's to go back to the cold war... fine. We offered his country a clean slate... Obama even went so far as to offer that reset button thing. And what do we get? This... Well, whatever.

Back to the cold war it is then.

And that means going back to squeezing Russia's economy into ruin.

The ways to do that are obvious... Russia depends heavily on sales of oil and gas. Ruin them. Give their customer's cheap plentiful alternatives.

And calm down hippies... but fracking is happening... get over it... its going to be a big thing in eastern europe at the very least and they'll ideally be able to supply themselves and sell to the western europeans that still think they can't get off oil... despite utterly failing after spending hundreds of billions trying.

I said calm down hippies... When we get the tech to actually get off oil... such as getting a battery worth a damn... then fine. Till then... its here to stay.

HFC to the rescue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46695287)

Hydrogen Fuel Cells are a very viable storage medium for energy.
The tech already exists and large energy companies already have fully realized infrastructures planned.
They just don't plan on switching to them until they have sucked every ounce of carbon from the ground and put it into the atmosphere.

Makes sense to me: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46695345)

Why would they switch now? When your only interest is the bottom line, there is no need to miss revenue now just for the sake of a planet that exists in the future. Besides, these large energy companies can probably sell cars more expensively when they have to be sealed up like space crafts so you don't choke on the city air.

That's a double bang for their buck; why would they even consider green energy yet?

Re:Obviously we're trying to punish the Russians (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 8 months ago | (#46696101)

Putin want's to go back to the cold war... fine. We offered his country a clean slate... Obama even went so far as to offer that reset button thing. And what do we get? This... Well, whatever.

The problem is that you're viewing this from an American perspective.
The EU has been slowly encroaching on Russia's buffer states for years.
It finally boiled over when Russia's attempt to retain the Ukrainian Government's alignment ended with a Ukrainian revolution.

The actual participants in this dance are the EU and Russia.
The USA is a side actor. It's not about US.

Also... why... all the... ellipses?

OTAN (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46694795)

Justification for NATO expansionism, without an Evil Russia, NATO has no purpose.

Capitalism (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46694841)

How is this stealing? An investment firm BUYS ideas and SELLS them.
How does it make any different that they are russian?
If this where JP Morgan buys an idea (or a whole company) and sold it to Lookhead Martin would that be ok?
Maybe US don't want to compete in the global market on equal terms...

I'm pretty sure major firms have deals with Russia and that is used in wars.

Luckly Im neither american or russian.

What's amazing about this... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46694885)

... is that the American public would still swallow this hook, line and sinker.

Industrial Espionage is everywhere (1)

Virtucon (127420) | about 8 months ago | (#46694891)

Russians, Chinese it doesn't matter. We have lots of nations in competition in many hi-tech and low-tech fields always looking for an edge. Sometimes it's not state-sponsored either. Back in the 80s, Hitachi was found stealing computer technology trade secrets from IBM in the 80s and settled out of court. [google.com] While technology today allows for the theft of more secrets and to reverse engineer just about everything out there more quickly, it's more imperative that companies take this kind of threat more seriously. Patents, which force the inventor to disclose how an invention works, are one thing but when whole industries are stolen it not only represents a national defense but a national economic issue as well.

Re:Industrial Espionage is everywhere (1)

k6mfw (1182893) | about 8 months ago | (#46695565)

Yep, if you are a country or a corporation then you gotta have spies (like all other big organizations need accountants and other staff to do specific jobs). As earlier post, whoop de do. What really gets me though is when we export our engineering and manufacturing offshore. Hey, they don't need spies, we will send stuff to them.

Poor USA! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46695035)

Poor Americans... Under constant attack by everyone. Red alert! The terror is coming! The terror is coming! Grab your weapons, man the defenses! (all on sale now!)

In reality, the truth is the rest of of the world doesn't give a damn about you (providing you stop trying to bankrupt yourselves and subsequently collapse the world economy).

Re:Poor USA! (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | about 8 months ago | (#46695523)

Lol, I see posts like this from people commenting on the latest Kardhazzian article. For some reason it makes people feel good to play the "irrelevant!" or "I don't care about that, pfft" cards.

You're so, like, above it all maaan. You sure put those silly Americans in their place!

Propaganda (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46695283)

I see the US propaganda machine is working full tilt to slander Russia now that there is conflict in Ukraine. Does this mean that a slew of movies will be released where the antagonist is Russian?

Looking forward to the reboot of Rocky and Bullwinkle to brainwash a new generation.

What To Do? (4, Insightful)

Bob9113 (14996) | about 8 months ago | (#46695563)

Russian investment firms may be looking to steal high-tech intelligence from Boston-area companies to give to their country's military.

Oh, my. That does sound serious. Whatever can we do? Oh, I know, perhaps we should work to harden information security so that companies can maintain the integrity of their research. Futhermore, though I'm sure this goes without saying, we should fire -- and ban from any future participation in any aspect of government, government contracts, lobbying, or information security -- any person who has been involved in the intentional weakening of information security standards [theguardian.com] .

distraction bullshit .. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46695785)

distraction bullshit .. nothing to see here .. moving on ...

Easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46696433)

It's easy to do, especially since many U.S. Firms are running Kasperski Anti-Virus (based in Russia). What better way to deliver malware than in a anti-virus program, that is based in Russia. It's a perfect oportunity for Russia to launch a cyber attack against U.S. companies.

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