Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Threat Intelligence

12/28/2018
02:20 PM
50%
50%

US Petroleum Employee Charged with Stealing Trade Secrets for Chinese Firm

Longtime US resident allegedly stole information for petroleum firm in China that had offered him a position.

A Chinese national was arrested in the US last week for allegedly stealing intellectual property from a US petroleum company where he was employed. Hongjin Tan, 35, is charged with pilfering some $1 billion in trade secrets on behalf of a Chinese petroleum firm where he was offered a new job.

The stolen data was for the manufacture of a "research and development downstream energy market product," according to a US Department of Justice criminal complaint filed in the case. According to the complaint, Tan downloaded hundreds of data files from the US petroleum company in the alleged theft.

"The theft of intellectual property harms American companies and American workers. As our recent cases show, all too often these thefts involve the Chinese government or Chinese companies. The Department recently launched an initiative to protect our economy from such illegal practices emanating from China, and we continue to make this a top priority," said US Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers in a statement. 

US government officials last week also indicted two members of a Chinese nation-state hacking team known as APT10.

Read more details here.

 

Dark Reading's Quick Hits delivers a brief synopsis and summary of the significance of breaking news events. For more information from the original source of the news item, please follow the link provided in this article. View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
RyanSepe
50%
50%
RyanSepe,
User Rank: Ninja
1/2/2019 | 10:48:47 AM
Re: Even citizens influenced
Makes sense, logically, to extort/target the smaller entity. It's an interesting perspective of leverage that you are discussing. I'd imagine if this is in fact the case here that it would be difficult to prove for the accused?

What would you say would be the appropriate response before and perhaps even after the extortion occurs in a scenario such as that for the accused?
Joe Stanganelli
50%
50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
12/31/2018 | 10:33:12 PM
Even citizens influenced
Despite this suspect being a Chinese national, I shared a conversation with a security executive recently about the fact that these insider threats sometimes occur from otherwise loyal employees who get extorted to offer access to "small" things because nation-state actors have compromised that employee's social/financial/health/etc. information elsewhere. (Think an employee at a major government contractor, for instance.)

This is why nation-state hackers target seemingly arbitrary targets like universities, hotels, etc. If they get a few juicy tidbits of information related to contractors/academic partners/etc. involved in government work, it pays off better and bigger than attacking the government agency itself directly.
Florida Town Pays $600K to Ransomware Operators
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  6/20/2019
Pledges to Not Pay Ransomware Hit Reality
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  6/21/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Building and Managing an IT Security Operations Program
As cyber threats grow, many organizations are building security operations centers (SOCs) to improve their defenses. In this Tech Digest you will learn tips on how to get the most out of a SOC in your organization - and what to do if you can't afford to build one.
Flash Poll
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
Your enterprise's cyber risk may depend upon the relationship between the IT team and the security team. Heres some insight on what's working and what isn't in the data center.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-12280
PUBLISHED: 2019-06-25
PC-Doctor Toolbox before 7.3 has an Uncontrolled Search Path Element.
CVE-2019-3961
PUBLISHED: 2019-06-25
Nessus versions 8.4.0 and earlier were found to contain a reflected XSS vulnerability due to improper validation of user-supplied input. An unauthenticated, remote attacker could potentially exploit this vulnerability via a specially crafted request to execute arbitrary script code in a users browse...
CVE-2019-9836
PUBLISHED: 2019-06-25
Secure Encrypted Virtualization (SEV) on Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) Platform Security Processor (PSP; aka AMD Secure Processor or AMD-SP) 0.17 build 11 and earlier has an insecure cryptographic implementation.
CVE-2019-6328
PUBLISHED: 2019-06-25
HP Support Assistant 8.7.50 and earlier allows a user to gain system privilege and allows unauthorized modification of directories or files. Note: A different vulnerability than CVE-2019-6329.
CVE-2019-6329
PUBLISHED: 2019-06-25
HP Support Assistant 8.7.50 and earlier allows a user to gain system privilege and allows unauthorized modification of directories or files. Note: A different vulnerability than CVE-2019-6328.