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War by Other Means: Economic Espionage in America Paperback – March 17, 1999
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War by Other Means is a clarion call to those in important industry and policy positions in the United States to consider the very real risks of economic espionage. Companies cannot ignore a horizon crowded with challenges such as how to maintain security over operations in an age when information products--from patents to software--can be lifted at the speed of light and reproduced at virtually no cost. John Fialka, who writes for the Wall Street Journal, here records the true spy stories of foreign intelligence operatives penetrating U.S. industries to gather valuable information ranging from trade secrets to military technology. Fialka tells his story in the strong language of battle and delivers a barrage of supporting facts: names, dates, numbers, and the procedures foreign countries take to gain restricted information. This lively story will raise fresh concern about the nature of competition among international businesses as well as national intelligence agencies. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
In this well-researched, often shocking report, Fialka, who has covered industrial espionage as a Wall Street Journal reporter, unreels a series of episodes that make it read like a spy thriller, detailing how foreign competitors are stealing America's technology. According to the author, Moscow's "Operation Farewell" spent $1.4 billion a year in salaries and bribes to obtain secret details of thousands of NATO weapon systems; Russia's space shuttle was created by following documents taken from NASA. China has flooded the U.S. with spies, enabling that country to modernize its military with weapon systems that could bring it up to superpower status. Japan's efficient spy network has tapped U.S. universities, companies and research institutions, channeling a steady flow of proprietary documents, economic intelligence and biotechnology secrets to Tokyo. Agents from France, Germany, Israel, Taiwan and South Korea are also harvesting information and blueprints in the U.S., reports Fialka, who recommends a government-coordinated offensive to protect our secrets, gather intelligence abroad and safeguard U.S. competitiveness. A revealing book that we ignore at our peril.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Hitting so close to home, and being such a morbidly fascinating subject, it has tended to attract a lot of crank authors with populist approaches. While Fialka doesn't really pull his punches, his approach is much more even-handed than many writers. This well-researched and competently written book stands well above the junk being currently produced in this subject area.
Although this text is now over four years old, it is still relatively current. For example, one who has read this book could not have been surprised at the amount of Federal attention paid to a nuclear physicist of Chinese extraction with strong ties to his native land, which has a long-standing pattern not only of economic espionage, but also of using and abusing non-professional spies. The author also gives convincing evidence to support the consistent rumors that the French have a ongoing tradition of government-sponsored economic warfare against their 'allied' partners. (As someone who has benefited from the character-building experience of a long-term relationship with a Peugeot, I remain convinced that although the French undoubtedly engage in economic espionage, Gallic pride prevents them from actually applying anything that they learn.)
This is an excellent text for helping build a mental picture of one particular class of Information Security threat. Those involved in Infosec topics will also find value in the chapters "Virtual Justice," which explains why corporations are so reluctant to report incidents of espionage, and "Surviving" which describes the lack of attention that corporations are willing to pay to security issues. As someone who has been involved in the field for over ten years, I can attest that this attitude is pervasive, and that security failures do occur. But without a greater willingness to report incidents to the authorities, the true statistics will never be known.
Given that virtually all large corporations are highly-vulnerable to attack, and given the author's supportable contention that both motivated and resourceful adversaries exist, it seems imprudent to write this book off as mere scare mongering. Since the writing of this book, the problem has only worsened.
My background includes the knowledge and life's experience from a number of diverse points of view, including one that involved my graduate education which took place at Central Missouri State University -- yes, the Chinese Communists were there, and so were others from Thailand, Taiwan, FSU, and so forth.
Let me tell you, if you are one of the 'commoners' (I mean that in a humourous way- it is part of the vernacular for those who are not practioners, and is not meant in a disparaging way) this book makes absolute sense. Yes, our brain pool is being examined and drained by foreign governments. No longer do we have warfare conducted in military terms on a vast scale such as WW II, but the massed hordes are now within our borders, slowly leaking our country dry (I'm surprised that Fialka didn't include the analogy of the frog being boiled alive, not realizing what was happening to itself). Reverse engineering and other methods are alive and well.
May God help us!