“[T]here are two kinds of big companies in the United States. There are those who’ve been hacked by the Chinese and those who don’t know they’ve been hacked by the Chinese” -FBI Director
The pervasive threat that cyber espionage poses to American business is not a new topic on this blog — we have been talking about it for a few years. But you do not have to take my word for it; there is a “higher authority” on the subject. No, not that high! But the Director of the FBI is pretty high.
Here is the transcript of what FBI Director James Comey had to say about the Chinese cyber espionage efforts. If you follow the link at the bottom, you can watch the video of his interview:
“What countries are attacking the United States as we sit here in cyberspace?”
“Well, I don’t want to give you a complete list. But the top of the list is the Chinese. As we have demonstrated with the charges we brought earlier this year against five members of the People’s Liberation Army. They are extremely aggressive and widespread in their efforts to break into American systems to steal information that would benefit their industry,” said FBI director Comey.
“What are they trying to get?”
“Information that’s useful to them so they don’t have to invent. They can copy or steal to learn about how a company might approach negotiations with a Chinese company, all manner of things,” said Comey.
“How many hits from China do we take in a day?”
“Many, many, many. I mean, there are two kinds of big companies in the United States. There are those who’ve been hacked by the Chinese and those who don’t know they’ve been hacked by the Chinese,” said Comey.
“The Chinese are that good?”
“Actually,” the FBI director replied, “not that good. I liken them a bit to a drunk burglar. They’re kicking in the front door, knocking over the vase, while they’re walking out with your television set. They’re just prolific. Their strategy seems to be: We’ll just be everywhere all the time. And there’s no way they can stop us.”