Targeting U.S. Technologies
Executive Summary


The Defense Security Service (DSS) presents the 2009 "Targeting U.S. Technologies" report in summation of defense industry reporting for fiscal year 2008 (FY08). This report analyzes possible foreign targeting of information and technologies developed or maintained within the cleared defense contractor (CDC) community. It offers a single perspective of the threat as viewed through the admittedly narrow, but nonetheless relevant, window of defense industry's unsolicited contact with foreign entities interested in defense programs and technologies. The substance of this report is drawn from DSS analysis of suspicious contact reports (SCRs) received from industry. These reports describe suspicious foreign activity targeting U.S. personnel, technologies, classified information, and export controlled products. The following constitutes key findings based on DSS analysis of FY08 data as compared to the previous year's reporting:

  • East Asia and Pacific-originated contacts continued to generate the greatest number of suspicious reports attributable to a specific region of origin. For the fifth year in a row, reporting with an East Asia and Pacific nexus far exceeded those from any other region suggesting a continuing, concerted, and growing effort to exploit contacts within United States industry for competitive, economic, and military advantage.

  • Aggressive collection attempts by commercial actors continued to surge. In FY08, commercial entities attempted to collect defense technology at a rate nearly double that of governmental or individual collector affiliations. This trend likely represents a purposeful attempt to make the contacts seem more innocuous, shifting focus from government collectors to commercial or non-traditional entities.

  • Collectors continued bold and overt exploitation of the Internet to acquire information via direct requests. Facilitated by ever increasing world wide connectivity, the ease of inundating industry with overt email requests and webpage submissions made direct requests a premier vehicle for solicitation and/or collection. While not all direct requests for information or services represent organized collection attempts, exploitation of this medium provides collectors an efficient, low-cost, high-gain opportunity to acquire classified or restricted information.

  • Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology has emerged as a priority target of aggressive collectors from multiple regions. In FY08, DSS noticed a significant increase in exploitation attempts against UAV systems and technologies at CDCs. Targeting of UAVs is non-region specific, broadly based, and spans all phases of research, development, and deployment. It is highly likely that this interest and probable targeting is the direct result of a growing and increasingly competitive world market for UAV systems.

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