Monday, March 28, 2011

McAfee and SAIC Study Shows Corporate Intellectual Capital is the Newest Cybercrime Currency

SANTA CLARA, Calif. and McLean, VA - March 28 - McAfee and Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) [NYSE:SAI] today announced findings from a global study on the security of information economies. In the study, “Underground Economies: Intellectual Capital and Sensitive Corporate Data Now the Latest Cybercrime Currency,” security experts and senior IT decision makers illustrate how cybercriminals have made the shift from stealing personal information, to targeting the corporate intellectual capital of some of the most well-known global organizations. Cybercriminals understand there is greater value in selling a corporations’ proprietary information and trade secrets which have little to no protection making intellectual capital their new currency of choice.

The cyber underground economy is making its money on the theft of corporate intellectual capital which includes trade secrets, marketing plans, research and development findings and even source code. McAfee and SAIC collaborated with Vanson Bourne to survey more than 1,000 senior IT decision makers in the U.S., U.K., Japan, China, India, Brazil and the Middle East. The study is a follow up to a report released in 2008 called “Unsecured Economies.” The new study reveals the changes in attitudes and perceptions of intellectual property protection in the last two years. The findings revealed which countries were perceived as the least safe to store corporate data, the rate at which organizations are experiencing breaches and the response rate to prevent or remediate data breaches.

“Cybercriminals have shifted their focus from physical assets to data driven properties, such as trade secrets or product planning documents,” said Simon Hunt, vice president and chief technology officer, endpoint security at McAfee. “We’ve seen significant attacks targeting this type of information. Sophisticated attacks such as s Operation Aurora, and even unsophisticated attacks like Night Dragon, have infiltrated some of the of the largest, and seemingly most protected corporations in the world. Criminals are targeting corporate intellectual capital and they are often succeeding.”

“The distinction between insiders and outsiders is blurring,” said Scott Aken, vice president for cyber operations at SAIC. “Sophisticated attackers infiltrate a network, steal valid credentials on the network, and operate freely – just as an insider would. Having defensive strategies against these blended insider threats is essential, and organizations need insider threat tools that can predict attacks based on human behavior.”


To download “Underground Economies: Intellectual Capital and Sensitive Corporate Data Now the Latest Cybercrime Currency,” please visit

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