Targeting U.S. Technologies

The rapid globalization of world economies, including defense-related industrial sectors, will drive an unprecedented degree of interface between United States industry and foreign entities eager for information and technologies resident in defense industry. Imperatives for emerging third-world countries to possess viable military and technical competencies will result in a spiraling demand for information and technology promising a competitive advantage. Cleared defense contractors (CDCs) in the United States will almost certainly remain a primary focus of foreign collection efforts, as foreign entities seek immediate competencies with minimal investment in their own indigenous programs. Additionally, The Unites States' traditional geopolitical and military rivals, as well as emerging strategic adversaries, place sensitive information in the United States defense industry at continued risk.

Defense industry reporting indicates suspicious entities will continue to target the vast spectrum of defense contractor information and technology. Information systems technology, particularly command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) systems with modeling and simulation programs, will likely remain priority technology targets for all regions. Aeronautics-related technologies, particularly advanced unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) systems, are also expected to remain a major focus for all the foreign technology collectors. Missile and missile defense technologies, including sensor systems, will continue to be collection priorities for Europe, Eurasia, and Near East entities. In addition, lasers and optics; marine systems (advanced naval systems); and positioning, navigation, and time technologies (global positioning systems) will continue to be a focus for East Asia and Pacific collectors.

In the last few years, DSS analysis of industry reporting identified a rising trend of suspicious attempts for aeronautics-related technologies, specifically UAV components and systems. As a result of the global marketplace, the expansive nature of the Internet, and ease of acquiring commercial-off-the-shelf components, the desire for cutting-edge UAV information and technology is not likely to abate in the near future. As major developers of UAV technologies, defense industry should be cognizant of attempts to gain information about UAV technologies, as aeronautics technologies will likely continue as premier targets of foreign collection.

Government and commercial collection entities worldwide are highly likely to continue the use of cyber collection activities against United States government and its CDCs. Cyber intrusion offers a relatively low-risk, high-gain technique giving illicit collectors the opportunity to acquire sensitive and proprietary information stored on United States computer networks. Cyber targeting may also be utilized as a collection planning tool to identify targets of opportunity not readily apparent to traditional collectors. This cyber reconnaissance allows foreign elements to design targeting plans employing the full range of collection techniques on focused targets.

Because of the cutting-edge technical advancements they represent, the United States' dual-use technologies are expected to generate sustained interest, irrespective of whether the collector has any actual interest in the specific commercial or military applications. Foreign commercial entities and joint enterprises will continue to complicate defense industry's ability to distinguish between legitimate global business practices and illicit attempts to acquire United States technologies. As always, this multi-dimensional threat environment will continue to require a concerted team effort between cleared contractors and security professionals to develop innovative and pro-active countermeasures to secure the integrity of information and technology in the defense industrial base. (Confidence Level: High)

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