Incidents Of Technology Leaks Announced By U.S. Department Of Justice

Rise in Technology Leaks – The U.S., South Korea, and the Netherlands are known as the world leaders in small yet powerful computer chips. The technology is essential for military and economic applications worldwide.

However, adversaries such as China, Russia, and Iran pose a significant threat by attempting to steal these advanced technologies.

Since high-tech companies are at stake, the U.S. and South Korea are taking a firm stance to combat the technology leaks and protect their tech industries.

Cases Of Technology Leaks Announced By U.S. Department Of Justice

Highlighting the gravity of the situation, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) recently on May 16, unveiled five interconnected cases investigated by its new Disruptive Technology Strike Force.

Cases Involving Chinese Nationals

Two cases, originating in California involve Chinese nationals stealing the source code to benefit Chinese competitors.

One of them has a senior software engineer involved. According to DOJ, he was charged with stealing “metrology software used in smart automotive manufacturing equipment.”

The theft has far-reaching implications. China can use this to develop advanced military applications, such as nuclear submarines and military aircraft.

Another case involves a former Apple engineer, also of Chinese descent, who stands accused of absconding with a vast amount of documentation containing the source code for Apple’s autonomous vehicle technology.

On the East Coast, a case unfolds in New York, where a “Chinese national is accused of operating a front company to supply Iran with materials vital for the production of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles,” The DOJ informed.

Cases Linking Russian Intelligence

In a global context, a Greek national was recently arrested for alleged Russian intelligence involvement and the acquisition of ten different controlled technologies. These technologies which were intended for illegal export to Russia, have significant military applications, including quantum cryptography and nuclear weapons testing.

Lastly, two Russian nationals were apprehended in Arizona for their attempts to deceive authorities by employing front companies and foreign bank accounts in their endeavor to ship export-controlled aircraft parts to Russian commercial airlines under sanctions.

Rising Heat And Implications

To counter the pressure imposed by the United States, Chinese economic spies are seeking alternative avenues to acquire similar technologies.

South Korea, in particular, has experienced a surge in technology leaks, with confirmed cases increasing from 3 in 2017 to 10 in 2021.

In the first quarter of 2023 alone, three significant leaks have already occurred, involving prominent automotive, display, and semiconductor companies.

China is operating in South Korea by establishing front companies and lurking outside South Korean chip fabrication plants to entice skilled professionals with lucrative salaries surpassing their current earnings.

Seoul has responded by monitoring the foreign travels of semiconductor engineers and raising the arrests for tech leakage.

Apparently, In response to these actions, China is intensifying scrutiny of U.S. and Japanese businesses that have access to confidential business information of China.

The result might be seen as an increased business risk and a growing trend of decoupling from China by various countries, impacting China’s innovation economy.

For more news and updates on Cybersecurity, visit The Cybersecurity Club.

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