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Google's spy case: Not the first, nor the last
Written by Daniel   
Tuesday, 19 January 2010 18:15

From C/net News

The recent cyberattacks on Google and other U.S. companies became public because they prompted Google's dramatic showdown with China, but attempts to steal corporate secrets using the Internet happen under the radar on a daily basis.

"Espionage has been going on for decades. The Internet has made it a lot easier to conduct espionage," said John Bumgarner, chief technology officer at the government-funded think tank U.S. Cyber Consequences Unit. "The targets are mostly defense contractors and high-tech companies that have some type of competitive advantage that someone wants to steal."

When regular business activities fail, some desperate companies turn to espionage to steal information that will help them become more competitive. For instance, source code is stolen from high-tech companies by rivals who want to copy their software programs. Countries might turn to the practice to get information that will help them enter new markets and leap-frog advances in other countries.

Google said intellectual property was stolen in the attack on its network, but didn't specify what. But sources familiar with the investigation into the attacks on Google, Adobe--and reportedly Yahoo, Symantec, Dow Chemical and Northrop Grumman--have said source code was the target in the attacks, and that in many of the cases the thieves were successful.

In Google's case, insiders may have played a role in the attacks, sources familiar with the investigation told CNET.

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