For­eign spy ac­tiv­ity surges to fill tech­nol­ogy gap

The Washington Times Weekly - - Front Page - By Bill Gertz

For­eign spies are step­ping up ef­forts to ob­tain se­cret U.S. tech­nol­ogy through meth­ods rang­ing from sex­ual en­trap­ment to In­ter­net hack­ing, with China and other Asian coun­tries lead­ing the tar­get­ing of U.S. de­fense con­trac­tors.

“The ap­par­ent across-the-board surge in ac­tiv­ity from East Asia and Pa­cific coun­tries will con­tinue in the short term as gaps in tech- no­log­i­cal ca­pa­bil­ity be­come ap­par­ent in their weapons-de­vel­op­ment pro­cesses,” the latest an­nual re­port by the De­fense Se­cu­rity Ser­vice coun­ter­in­tel­li­gence of­fice stated.

“The glob­al­iza­tion of de­fense busi­ness will in­crease the threat from strate­gic com­peti­tors who will use le­git­i­mate busi­ness ac­tiv­i­ties as a venue to il­le­gally trans­fer U.S. tech­nol­ogy,” the re­port

said, not­ing that the use of third coun­tries to dis­guise col­lec­tion will con­tinue as a com­mon tac­tic.

The re­port pro­vides de­tails of the meth­ods used by for­eign tech­nol­ogy spies, from sim­ple ver­bal re­quests for in­for­ma­tion to pur­chases of con­trolled tech­nol­ogy and — in at least one case — the use of a wo­man who se­duced a con­trac­tor into pro­vid­ing his com­puter pass­word.

Other meth­ods in­cluded of­fer­ing mar­ket­ing ser­vices to con­trac­tors, spy­ing dur­ing vis­its to U.S. com­pa­nies and the use of “cul­tural com­mon­al­ity” to ob­tain tech­nol­ogy.

The re­port did not iden­tify the 106 coun­tries that are en­gaged in the col­lec­tion ac­tiv­ity, but other de­fense of­fi­cials said the most ac­tive tech­nol­ogy spies are work­ing for China, Rus­sia and Iran. Other col­lec­tors of U.S. tech­nol­ogy were iden­ti­fied as agents work­ing se­cretly for Is­rael, Ja­pan, Bri­tain, France, Ger­many, Egypt and United Arab Emi­rates, the of­fi­cials said.

The un­clas­si­fied 2006 re­port, “Tech­nol­ogy Col­lec­tion Trends in the U.S. De­fense In­dus­try,” was ap­proved for re­lease in June, but only re­cently made avail­able to de­fense con­trac­tors and gov­ern­ment agen­cies. A copy was ob­tained by The Wash­ing­ton Times. It is based on coun­ter­in­tel­li­gence re­ports from con­trac­tors and other data through early 2006.

Space sys­tems, lasers and mis­sile- and radar-evad­ing stealth tech­nol­ogy are among the most soughtafter U.S. tech­nolo­gies, the re­port said.

Other key tar­gets in­clude in­for­ma­tion sys­tems, mod­el­ing and sim­u­la­tion tech­nol­ogy, op­tics, aero­nau­tics, sen­sors, ex­plo­sives, elec­tron­ics and marine sys­tems.

The re­port said the largest per­cent of the 971 spy­ing in­ci­dents de­tected dur­ing the latest re­port­ing pe­ri­od­came­fromEastAsi­aandthe Pa­cific with 31 per­cent of all in­ci­dents, while the Near East ac­counted for about 23 per­cent. About 19 per­cent of the in­ci­dents em­anated from Eura­sia and 13 per­cent from South Asia.

The re­port pro­vides sev­eral cases show­ing how for­eign spies have tried to ob­tain tech­nol­ogy, through sim­ple ver­bal re­quests, covert com­puter hack­ing and clan­des­tine intelligence ac­tiv­i­ties.

One case re­vealed in the re­port in­volved an East Asian com­pany that sought to ob­tain clas­si­fied tech­nol­ogy re­lated to U.S. un­manned ae­rial ve­hi­cles (UAVs), a cut­tingedge U.S. mil­i­tary tech­nol­ogy.

The Asian rep­re­sen­ta­tives showed up at a clas­si­fied fa­cil­ity at the U.S. de­fense com­pany un­in­vited and tried to “ob­serve the re­pair” of pre­vi­ously pur­chased un­clas­si­fied sys­tems.

The re­port said the “ag­gres­sive ef­fort” to visit the com­pany ap­peared to be a “veiled at­tempt to col­lect in­for­ma­tion on other high­in­ter­est UAV pro­grams at the fa­cil­ity.” It was the fourth time since 2003 that the com­pany sought UAV goods.

Sev­eral U.S. de­fense con­trac­tors have re­ported that be­tween Oc­to­ber 2005 and Jan­uary 2006 they found ra­dio-fre­quency trans­mit­ters hid­den in Cana­dian coins that were planted on them af­ter they trav­eled through Canada, ac­cord­ing to the re­port.

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