Cyber Espionage Continues to Cause Debate and Draw Attention

As regular readers of M-Unition, you've probably noticed that we've been focusing on the new normal where cyber incidents are occurring outside our borders and our control. Cyber incidents, attacks and espionage are causing a great deal of concern for CISOs, and our government is increasingly openly discussing these issues.

Many of the news outlets have pointed to our latest APT1 report where Mandiant called out China for directly attacking the U.S. and highlighting the real danger of cyber espionage. In a recent Dark Reading article, Kelly Jackson Higgins called it the "dragon in the room." And for the first time in its annual report, the Pentagon reported that China appeared to be cyber spying on the US government. Of course, the Chinese government continues to deny these findings, as reported by Bloomberg earlier this month.

While APT1 may have retreated slightly for a short time frame, this New York Times article reports that they are back at it again, resuming attacks on U.S. targets and using new techniques. We've seen the activity gradually increase over the past two months with the group attacking victims with new tools and infrastructure.

When we released our report earlier this year, we traced years of cyber attacks against 140 mostly American companies to a People's Liberation Army unit in Shanghai. And we've confirmed in several interviews in the media that the attacks originating in China have continued.

All of this news points to one thing: The next battle isn't on the battlefield but online. And it is not just phishing attacks on individuals who fall victim to credit card breaches, but rather intrusions into enterprise network where intellectual property is stolen so that other countries can compete with the U.S. by stealing trade secrets. It is serious and will have severe implications on our nation's economy. Our CEO, Kevin Mandia, speaks to Fox Business on economic cyber espionage how the U.S. can improve on cybersecurity in this video here.

Of course, this new found awareness and knowledge requires action. Earlier this month, the Senate introduced a bill that would flag countries and products that benefit from espionage, according to an SC Magazine article. The new legislation that calls for the creation of a "watch list" of countries believed to be engaging in such acts and the blocking of certain imports, reports Dan Kaplan.

We recently interviewed Bruce Schneier to get his point of view. As expected, when it comes to these issues, he isn't too keen on government getting overly involved. Listen to his point of view here.