By Roger Runningen & Eric Engleman
President Barack Obama’s administration is preparing a strategy to counter theft of U.S. trade secrets by hackers in China and other countries, according to a former government official briefed on an administration report to be released today.
The report will outline a coordinated diplomatic effort to push back against other nations to enforce intellectual property rights and to lay out best practices for companies to protect their material, according to the former official, who asked not to be named before the official announcement.
Attorney General Eric Holder will join Victoria A. Espinel, U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator at the Office of Management and Budget, and officials from General Electric Co. and American Superconductor Corp., to release the document titled, “Strategy to Mitigate the Theft of U.S. Trade Secrets,” according to a statement on the OMB website.
The response comes a day after an Alexandria, Virginia- based security company, Mandiant Corp., released an analysis that said the Chinese army is probably the source of computer- hacking attacks against at least 141 companies worldwide since 2006.
The intrusions, mainly directed at U.S. companies, were carried out by a group that is “likely government sponsored” and is similar “in its mission, capabilities, and resources” to a unit of the People’s Liberation Army, according to the Mandiant report.
A spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry, Hong Lei, denied any military involvement and said his department is opposed to computer hacking and has been a victim of attacks itself.