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Corporate espionage in the news: Hilton and the Oil industry
From: Gadi Evron <ge () linuxbox org>
Date: Tue, 26 Jan 2010 08:52:06 +0200

Corporate espionage in the news, and not just because of Google: Hilton 
and the Oil industry. Is anyone calling espionage by means of computers 
cyber-espionage yet? I hope not. At least they shouldn't call it cyber war.

Two news stories of computerized espionage reached me today.

The first, regarding the Oil industry, was sent by Marc Sachs to a SCADA 
security mailing list we both read. The second, about the hotel 
industry, was sent by Deb Geisler to science fiction convention runners 
(SMOFS) mailing list we both read.

US oil industry hit by cyberattacks: Was China involved?
http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2010/0125/US-oil-industry-hit-by-cyberattacks-Was-China-involved

        "At least three US oil companies were the target of a series of
        previously undisclosed cyberattacks that may have originated in
        China and that experts say highlight a new level of
        sophistication in the growing global war of Internet espionage."

Starwood Charges That Top Hilton Execs Abetted Espionage
http://www.meetings-conventions.com/article_ektid31918.aspx

        "Starwood's claim points to a "mountain of undisputed
        evidence," including e-mails among Hilton senior management,
        that Klein and Lalvani worked with others within Starwood to
        steal sensitive documents by sending them via personal e-mail
        accounts, among other methods, and that such information was
        shared and used by all of Hilton's luxury and lifestyle brands,
        as well as in the development of Hilton's now-shelved Denizen
        brand. In the new filing, Starwood says, "This case is
        extraordinary, and presents the clearest imaginable case of
        corporate espionage, theft of trade secrets, unfair competition
        and computer fraud...Hilton's conduct is outrageous.""

As to whether China is involved, maybe. But the automatic blaming has 
got to stop. Many other countries have been known to be conducting 
corporate espionage, such as France, and as the second story above 
shows, so do corporations themselves.

[ Source on naming France: http://samvak.tripod.com/pp144.html ]

But.. here are a few questions:

- My dog barked, was China involved?
- The traffic light turned red, was China involved?
- I am tired. Is China involved?

        Gadi.

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