The Blog

Sony breach highlights cyber theft risk

The recent cyber attack against Sony underscores fears that enemy nations are able to infiltrate U.S. computer systems and steal sensitive information. The fear is especially intense in the private sector, where much of America’s defense work takes place.

For example, Defense News reports that China’s military showed off two new assets November’s Zhuhai Airshow — the J-31 stealth fighter and JY-26 “Skywatch-U” 3-D long-range air surveillance radar — which bear a striking resemblance to Lockheed Martin’s F-35 joint strike fighter and its offering for the Air Force’s Three Dimensional Expeditionary Long-Range Radar (3DELRR) competition, respectively.

“Reports of a major cyber breach of Lockheed’s programs by Chinese hackers have been around since April 2009, and a general consensus has emerged across industry that China’s military has benefited from that information,” Defense News reported.

That kind of infiltration is costing US industries billions of dollars, warned Brett Lambert, former deputy assistant secretary of defense for manufacturing and industrial base policy, during November’s NATO Industry Forum in Split, Croatia, also according to the Defense News article.

“No one has been hit harder on a seismic scale than US industry,” he said.

Concerns are justified, according to McAfee Labs’ annual threat forecast. Cyber espionage is expected to rise sharply in 2015, according to the report, as cyber-spies will “implement better methods to remain hidden on a victim’s network.”