July 7, 2022

Cybersecurity: FBI & MI5 Warn of Huge China-Based Threats

Businesses need to be on high alert for state-sponsored business spying originating from China, according to a warning issued yesterday by the FBI and Britain’s MI5. The WSJ reported on the details – here’s an excerpt:

In a rare joint appearance on Wednesday at the headquarters of MI5, Christopher Wray, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Ken McCallum, director-general of MI5, urged executives not to underestimate the scale and sophistication of Beijing’s campaign.

“The Chinese government is set on stealing your technology — whatever it is that makes your industry tick — and using it to undercut your business and dominate your market,” Mr. Wray told the audience of business people. “They’re set on using every tool at their disposal to do it.”

The intelligence & security chiefs said the spying is aimed in large part at stealing tech companies’ intellectual property. The article also reports that the FBI is currently opening a new counterintelligence investigation into China roughly every 12 hours – and MI5 is running seven times as many investigations into suspicious Chinese activity now as it was in 2018.

Make sure your risk management system and cyber protections are up-to-date, consider your business relationships with China-based companies, and think about risk factor disclosure if you could be at risk and haven’t already described the threat and possible implications to your business.

Liz Dunshee