Five Eyes Urges Tech Startups to Protect Against IP Theft –

MI5 Warns of ‘Share Rise’ in Cyberespionage

Five Eyes Urges Tech Startups to Protect Against IP Theft
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Nation-state hacks against Western startups are surging in a bid by competitor nations to glean intellectual property, warn cyber and intelligence agencies from the Five Eyes intelligence alliance.

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In a joint statement issued by agencies from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States, authorities said attackers target organizations developing artificial intelligence, quantum science and synthetic biology.

The stolen data was likely used to fast-track technological and military capabilities within adversary nations, alliance members said.

“Across all five of our countries, we are seeing a sharp rise in aggressive attempts by other states to steal competitive advantage,” said Ken McCallum, director general of U.K. security service MI5.

The agencies did not finger any particular nation-state for the uptick in hacking. A recent report from the U.K. Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee said that illicit acquisition of intellectual property “appears to be a major contributor to China’s rapid progress” in economic development.

In order to protect British startups and businesses from potential espionage campaigns, the U.K.’s National Protective Security Authority on Tuesday released guidance on enhancing organizational defense. The measures proposed by the agency include proactively implementing cyber hygiene practices such as supply chain risk mitigation, patching and updating, as well as establishing an incident management plan.

This is a developing story; check back for updates.


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