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Dupont’s Titanium Oxide Color Recipe- Stolen for Chinese Advantage July 22, 2015

Posted by Chris Mark in Industry News, InfoSec & Privacy, Risk & Risk Management.
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Oddly (to me anyhow) this is the 2nd most  popular post on my blog!  It was written over 3 years ago but since it gets so much traffic I thought I should re-post.  Here it is in 2015!

Many mistakenly believe that only “high tech” secrets and intellectual property are targets for intellectual property theft.  In a clear example of how any propriety secret can be considered a target, a scientist (Tse Chao) who worked for Dupont from 1966-2002 (36 years!) pleaded guilty in Federal court on Thursday to committing espionage for a company controlled by the Chinese government.  Mr. Chao testified that he provided confidential information to Chines controlled Pangang Group. What did he steal? Among other things, the recipe for Dupont’s Titanium Dioxide.  What is TD used in?  Titanium Dioxide is the ingredient in many white products that makes the products white.  Products such as paint, toothpaste, and Oreo cookie filling!  Stealing the ingredients to Oreos shows just how low cyberthieves will go!   According to court documents: “DuPont’s chlorine-based process was eagerly sought by China, which used a less efficient and more environmentally harmful production method”

I have worked with a number of large companies who, when asked why they did not protect trade secrets, replied that they did not believe their industry or type of product was of interest.  Make no mistake.  If your company has a unique process, technology, or product, it IS of interest to many companies.  Unfortunately, the US Government has released reports that state that China is sponsoring much of the US and European cyber espionage.

photo from: http://www.titaniumexposed.com

“Trust but Verify”- Insider Threats & Intellectual Property Theft February 20, 2012

Posted by Chris Mark in InfoSec & Privacy, Risk & Risk Management.
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According to the US Government, intellectual property theft costs the US approximately $250 billion per year.  Unfortunately, a large and growing percentage of this theft is due to insiders.  The human element of data security is a topic that I have written on numerous times.  This article follows one I wrote in August, 2011 titled: Security 101: The Human Element.

I have worked with a number of large (and small) organizations that were very focused on risk management and information security.  It is always disheartening when you find that the companies focus solely upon external threats and ignore one of the largest threats to their intellectual property; their own employees.  Humans are social creatures.  We make friends and we want to be trusted.  We also believe in our fellow person.  Nobody likes to feel like they are not trusted and consequently, few like to make others feel like they are not trusted.  Unfortunately, where data security and the protection of intellectual property is concerned, companies are well advised to adhere to the old adage: “Trust but Verify”.

With increased responsibility often comes increased authority and increased access to sensitive systems, and information.  Companies often make the mistake of believing that with increased responsibility comes a decrease in the need to monitor activity.  (more…)

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