Computer Crime Research Center


Behind the firewall: computer crime

Date: November 17, 2007

Germany is the land of ideas and innovations. Yet it is not only business competitors who may try to gain secret access to German expertise, it is also foreign intelligence services that are spying on German companies.

Whether it's research results, strategies for development, product information, client data or budget plans -- business secrets of successful companies are increasingly becoming coveted by industrious spies.

The spies, said Elmar Remberg, deputy chief of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (Germany's domestic intelligence agency), come from the former republics of the Soviet Union, but primarily, from China.

"China is intensively collecting information around the world -- political, military and scientific data, and company strategies in order close the gap in their technology developments as quickly as possible," Remberg said.

Current studies show that around 40 percent of German companies fall prey to industrial espionage. Furthermore, expertise worth up to 50 billion euros ($74 billion) is at risk, according to the studies. The target of the espionage are primarily nano and armament technologies, as well as that involving transportation, environment and energy.
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