(Greek: κρυπτεία / krupteía, from κρυπτός / kruptós, “hidden, secret things”)

The 10 Ways Wall Street’s Corporate Spies Steal Information From Your Company

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The 10 Ways Wall Street’s Corporate Spies Steal Information From Your Company

February 10, 2010

Business Insider, 9 Feb 10: Right now, some of your most sensitive corporate data is being stolen by corporate spies. These spies work for the competition, looking to get the edge over you, and they work for investors, hoping to get ahead of the market.

A new book by Eamon Javers, Broker, Trader, Lawyer, Spy: The Secret World of Corporate Espionage, reports that such companies as Goldman Sachs, SAC Capital, and KPMG have employed these spies. In digging for information on a company, the spies look for sources who usually come in one of two flavors:

  • The first is a “male in his mid 20s who is somewhat bored, likes to party, needs money, likes women, sports and risk, is disrespectful to his managers, and is patriotic.”
  • The second is a young woman who is insecure, overweight, and bitchy. She doesn’t have a boyfriend and except for a strong relationship with her mother, has only fake friends.

But it’s not enough to get just the profile of the potential sources inside your company. We’ve gone through Javers’ book and identified the 20 common tactics used in corporate espionage. Find out the tactics. . . . .

Two words: “Competitive Intelligence” this is the moniker of many of these jobs out there are under. There are whole corporate wings for this as well as those consultants out there with a shingle offering services. The real name for this though is “Intelligence Gathering” of course, just where you draw the line is the key here.

If you are gathering data via OSINT, then you are just an analyst. If you are instead moving in on people, cajoling them, bribing them, turning them, or using technical means to “steal” data, then you are an in “Industrial Espionage” So, just how much of this is going on out there?

Of course with OSINT now you can get A LOT of data you might need just with Google and some key searches. Or perhaps you will augment that with Maltego to see connections between people and systems etc. This kind of intel gathering is just fine. I mean, if you snooze you lose right?

So, I have been saying this all along, that there is a lot of industrial espionage going on out there. Would it be only nation state? Nope. Could some of these guns for hire be conduits for nation states? Yes.

Of course much of these techniques have been the common means for nation state spying and hackers for some time. Social engineering and a keen understanding of the human psyche can go a long way in gathering data. It’s a low cost venture most of the time and like the Russians found out, sometimes a little money goes a long way in intelligence boon.

Time to pay more attention folks cuz it ain’t just in the movies.


Written by Krypt3ia

2010/02/10 at 15:38

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