Targeting U.S. Technologies
Executive Summary


According to the U.S. State Department, there are 194 independent countries in the world. In FY08, entities in over half of these countries attempted, at least once, to illicitly acquire United States defense technologies or information. DSS organized information about these attempts into the State Department's six regional groupings (See reference map for information about the countries within the State Department's regional bureaus).

Concurrently, DSS examined SCRs received from the defense industry in FY08 to determine which represented matters of confirmed or probable counterintelligence (CI) concern. Where possible, analysts affiliated relevant reports with specific regions of origin assessing the geographic association of the requestor. For FY08, the regions most frequently affiliated with validated or probable reports of CI concern were, in descending order of occurrence:

Regional Trends

A comparison to FY07 data reveals no major changes in this hierarchy; with East Asia and the Pacific and Near East entities remaining the most prolific collectors of United States technology or information. As in previous years, East Asia and the Pacific collectors continued to dominate collection efforts in terms of sheer volume. The desire to maintain and dominate a regional military capability, while enhancing political and economic influence, likely drives intense collection priorities from East Asia and Pacific entities. This modernization campaign relies heavily on exploiting United States technical advancements. Countering this threat to United States defense industry will require the highest degree of cooperation, education, awareness, and vigilance.

This reporting period also witnessed a number of SCRs emanating from the Near East region. While Near East entities were the second most prolific regional collectors, the volume did not approach the deluge of reporting emanating from East Asia and the Pacific collectors. To counter international trade restrictions and embargoes imposed on various actors in this region, Near East collectors used widely cast and varied approaches to target United States technology, frequently engaging non-traditional collectors, such as students at American universities, to illicitly gather information and attempt to acquire technology. Given rising trends related to this region, suspicious requests from Near East entities are not likely to abate in the near future.

Despite Europe and Eurasia's geo-political significance and economic status as a rival in the technical marketplace, attempts to acquire defense-related technologies emanating from this region failed to keep pace with collection attempts noted from either the East Asia and Pacific region or the Near East region. When DSS first compiled comparative statistics in 2004, European and Eurasian collectors ranked second only to East Asia and the Pacific entities. Since then, SCRs with European and Eurasian nexes have declined steadily, relegating the region to the third position in the hierarchy of collectors, an almost 40 percent decrease from reports in 2004.

The reasons for this relative decline remain largely conjectural, but DSS reporting indicates that European and Eurasian collectors may be simply less dependent on overt contacts with United States industry to keep pace with technical advancements. Although many European and Eurasian research and development (R&D) programs are robust and favorably positioned to satisfy the majority of their own technical requirements, intelligence community reporting indicates that this indigenous R&D capacity does not diminish an appetite for U.S. military and dual-use technologies. More sinisterly, it may suggest that Europe and Eurasia collectors do not need to use high-profile collection techniques because their covert collection methodologies are already efficient and effective as to render the more blatant, overt requests largely supplemental to other collection competencies. It is noteworthy that even though their overt collection efforts have declined, European and Eurasian cyber actors remain some of the most active targeters of United States technology.

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