Russia, China and Iran are the countries that the United States considers are their biggest threats in terms of cyber attacks to spy on US companies or steal their trade secrets.
According to a report by the National Center for Counterintelligence and Security of the Office of the National Intelligence Directorate (DNI), the three nations have conducted sophisticated large-scale cyber attacks in multiple US industries, such as energy, biotechnology, defense, environment and information technology and communications, among others as public services.
“Our economic security is our national security, we can not simply fall asleep before our adversaries stealing our intellectual property and trade secrets,” said William Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, during a press conference on Thursday, according to Bloomberg. .
As an example, Evanina mentioned that hackers infiltrate company networks while the software code is being written. In this way, what they do is inject malware into the code from the beginning, so it is already there for when it is used or even updated.
The DNI claims that hackers from the Russian government endangered dozens of US energy companies in 2017. Just a few days ago we reported that the Russian hacker group known as Dragonfly accessed the US electric power network last year after of phishing employees of the corporate networks of public service providers.
Regarding Chinese cyberattacks to US industry, the report notes that most have focused on defense contractors and technology and communications companies “whose products and services support government and private sector networks around the world” . In 2015, China agreed with the United States that it would stop making digital economic espionage. Although the attacks from the Asian country have decreased, the DNI points out that they have not stopped altogether.
While the two previous countries have more time to carry out cyber attacks in the United States, the report notes that Iran’s interest in US networks increased significantly in 2017. The DNI attributes this to the fact that the Arab nation seeks to expand into unrelated industries with oil.
We believe that Iran will continue to work to penetrate US networks for economic or industrial espionage, and the Iranian economy, still largely driven by oil revenues, will depend on the growth of non-oil industries, and we expect that Iran continues to exploit cyberspace to obtain advantages in these industries.