In recent years, Chinese spies have been making more and more attempts to learn the secrets of the US.
On 30 March, a woman of Chinese origin, Yujing Zhang, was arrested as she was trying to get into Mar-a-Lago, at President Trump's home in Florida. In the test, Zhang found two passports, four mobile phones, a laptop, an external hard drive and a thumb drive. After examination, the authorities discovered that there was malware in them. In the hotel room she found more than 8.000 dollars in American and Chinese currency.
Zhang is still in prison, while investigations about her case have not stopped.
Experts point out that this incident should remind all politicians and businesses that the risk may be somewhere near them. The theft of digital data and assets are not only made by an unknown criminal. Whether it is individual attacks or organized espionage operations, it is necessary to have as many security measures as possible.
This is not the first time the Chinese are trying to spy on the US. There have been several incidents in recent years, where some people have tried to gain access to information, working for the government and the Army of China. Last October, ten Chinese hackers and officers were charged with participating in a program aimed at stealing information.
But what do the Chinese spies want from the Americans?
Previously, the goal was spying on the government and theft of intellectual property. Now, both China and other countries are making wider campaigns to gather as much information as they can at some point be useful (for spying, for theft, for political issues, etc.).
Michael Biggs, founder and president of the Centurions Alliance Group, reported the case of a US sports company that planned to release a new line of products. When the finance director of the company made a trip to Asia, he saw the sportswear being sold by street vendors. Obviously, some hackers they entered a mobile worker's cell, stole the pictures of the clothes, and copied. The job was done very quickly and of course the American company lost a lot of dollars because of this imitation.
Experts believe that Chinese espionage efforts are more intense than ever.
China's enormous growth is largely related to espionage and the theft of American and Western technologies. The United States is the benchmark to figure out where she is (China). The aim of the Chinese is to collect information to help them gain an advantage over the Americans, be it industrial and commercial secrets or political ideas and military issues. Any information may be useful to them.
This means that all US citizens are vulnerable to attacks. And the targets are not computers but people. The Chinese spies target the vulnerability of people to collect information.
It is said that the Chinese use a wide range of methods to achieve their goal.
"Very often, the Chinese use phishing emails to make the initial violation. However, they have highly specialized hackers who can find and exploit network or software vulnerabilities, including zero-day vulnerabilities, "an expert said.
The most common methods are phishing emails, USB drives left somewhere in the hope of finding someone curious to connect them as well as phone calls that deceive people and push them to download and run some software.
China, however, does not stay in these simple methods.
"China is training its spies to be able to locate, assess, develop, recruit and handle people who have access to key sectors of government and industry," said Andrew Lewis, President of the Private Information Society «The Ulisses Group». He also said that most of the information stolen by China from America is from university networks.
The Chinese use an unconventional "economic espionage" as part of a comprehensive strategy to promote its high-tech industries.
This spying method can cause great damage to America, since it can cost up to 600 billions of dollars a year.
Also, universities and colleges are particularly vulnerable as they are sources of research and technological development.
All major technology companies, but also economic, rural, space, etc. are important goals. Indeed, some decide to stop working with the US government to gain access to the Chinese market.