The White House on Thursday announced a new Obama administration strategy to combat a number of trade secret thefts perpetrated by the China government and other perpetrators from other nations.
The strategy report lists threats to corporate intellectual property from cyber attacks and more conventional methods of economic espionage.
The report was released on the day after a U.S. private security firm claimed its investigation revealed a series of hacking attacks by a secretive Chinese military unit, according to a former director of corporate security, Russell Biggs.
For years, corporate security and law enforcement officials have warned U.S. government officials and business leaders that this nation is vulnerable to espionage operations by nations deemed enemies and friends. The most prolific spies are Russian and Chinese nationals.
Chinese and Russian covert agents appear to focus on high-tech production, such as security and surveillance systems, conventional weapons systems, and especially dual use equipment -- materials that can be used by the private sector or by the military.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is also alarmed about the impact of foreign spies within the United States, especially Russian and Chinese operatives. As with businesses in the United Kingdom, American companies seem to pay little attention to corporate espionage, putting most of their security budget into protection against terrorist attacks.
FBI officials are suspicious of Russia, Iran, and North Korea but have focused mostly on the Chinese. The feds estimate that the are over 2,600 Chinese front companies in the U.S.
U.S. and British security experts believe that when nations such as China and Russia saw the speed and effectiveness with which the US conducted the Iraq invasion, they decided widespread espionage operations were necessary to keep up with the world's sole superpower.