Ex-Employee Stole Trade Secrets Worth Over $50M

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Headlines

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A former Ford Motor Company product engineer, Xiang Dong "Mike" Yu, plead guilty to stealing some four thousand proprietary documents and giving them to the Beijing Automotive Company.

The trade secrets were said to be worth more than fifty-million dollars, and contained specifications for engine, transmission, and electrical designs.

Yu, a Chinese national, was arrested in 2009 while on a return trip from China, and a subsequent search of his laptop revealed dozens of confidential documents from Ford.

Yu had worked for Ford for a decade before taking a job with the Beijing Automotive Company. He faces 5-6 years in prison and $150,000 in fines.

Advanced Persistent Threats are a serious problem for companies seeking to protect proprietary trade secrets.

A recent study conducted by Imperva shows that more than two-thirds of employees are willing to take everything from client and customer records to intellectual property.

Other reports have asserted that the Chinese government is actively participating in cyber espionage against the United States, and may have been complicit in the re-routing of nearly 15% of all internet traffic last April by Chinese telecom companies.

The theft of trade secrets has widespread consequences, as it causes companies to lose their competitive edge, can make it difficult to realize a return on billions of dollars worth of research and development efforts, and ultimately devalues shareholder value.

Source:  http://threatpost.com/en_us/blogs/chinese-national-stole-ford-secrets-worth-more-50-million-112210

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Anthonie Ruighaver So, how can an employee copy 4000 sensitive documents to his laptop without the company noticing it? Because companies don't monitor information flows or their employees' access patterns. We trust our employees! The fact that many employees can't be trusted does not seem to change that dogma.

And to prevent an extensive discussion on trust. Yes, organizations do need to build a trust relationship with their employees, but that does not mean they have to abandon all common sense. I do trust my wife, but I do want to know where she goes and who she meets.
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Allan Pratt, MBA Again, here's the reason for policies, implementation, and open communication between top leadership teams and all employees.
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