Just like everything else, Chinese companies try to copy or steal ideas from innovative companies and sell it as their own. Of course, there are a few exceptions to the rule however in a new scandal, Chinese hackers and spies were caught by U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) for stealing confidential aircraft technology from American and French companies. According to the indictment, the two accused were Chinese intelligence officers.
We've already seen Chinese companies lifting ideas, technology and designs in other products such as smartphones, earphones and even cars; however, this is the first time Chinese intelligence officers have been caught stealing information.
According to DOJ, that from January 2010 until May 2015, the officers and their teams attempted to hack and steal tech related to a new turbofan engine. Stealing the information would enable Chinese companies (public and private) to copy and build similar jet engines. Stealing of this information would prevent the Chinese from investing a lot of money into research and development. During the time of the hacks, a government-owned aerospace company was working to develop a comparable engine.
The Chinese hackers targeted firms like Capstone Turbine, French company Safran SA, that co-develops engines with U.S.-based General Electric and other companies in Arizona, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Oregon, and the United Kingdom.
The packers used techniques such as phishing schemes, domain hijacking, and using the companies' own websites to steal visitor information. The two accused were employed by the French company and used their position to install the Sakula remote access trojan onto their systems.
"State-sponsored hacking is a direct threat to our national security," said U.S. Attorney Adam Braverman. "The concerted effort to steal, rather than simply purchase, commercially available products should offend every company that invests talent, energy, and shareholder money into the development of products.”
Seems like Chinese entities can't help themselves from stealing information and ideas rather than investing in research and development. Earlier this month, Yanjun Xu, a spy for the Chinese ministry of state security, was arrested for economic espionage and attempting to steal trade secrets from US aviation and aerospace companies.