Cyber attacks have become a tool of statecraft in this technology-driven age. Today, nations succeed or fail in large part based on how effectively they develop, implement and protect new technologies.
Last week, the U.S. Department of Justice revealed details of an extensive nation-state cyber espionage campaign targeting non-military entities such as universities, businesses and government agencies. The government alleges that nine hackers associated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps accessed and compromised intellectual property (IP) that cost the victim organizations $3.4 billion to develop.The announcement is the latest acknowledgement that nation-states are targeting organizations in the private sector to obtain IP that will strengthen the competitive position of their national economies, as well as their militaries. Such cyber attacks seek to acquire technical leadership for nations lacking the investments, human talent or other foundational elements associated with technical innovation.
These revelations reinforce the findings of