January 22, 2010

A recent series of cyber attacks, appearing to originate from China, have demonstrated how powerful malware can even compromise high technology companies. As referenced in a recent San Jose Mercury News article (link available HERE), Google admitted to being the victim of a series of cyber attacks that were strong enough to steal some of its own intellectual property and negatively impact between 20 and 30 other high-tech companies in Silicon Valley. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has taken a leadership role regarding internet security and commerce, and recently gave a foreign policy address in Washington D.C. discussing, in part, the impact of malware and its ability to breach even highly-secured corporate systems. As noted in the San Jose Mercury News article, the rapid increase in the volume of malware is indicated by Symantec’s collection of malware, whereby 60% of all of its collected malware code (5.9 million pieces) was created in the last 15 months.

According to DailyFinance (article link HERE), the cyber attack against Google may have even involved some Google employees in China. As mentioned therein, "The news certainly adds a new wrinkle to cyber-espionage. It means that employees, who are either bribed or have conflicting loyalties to their employers, may pose the single most dangerous threat to the security of servers that hold data for companies ranging from search engines to government sites to e-mail operations handling the communications of hundreds of millions of people."

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Mark Reichel
Reichel IP LLC

I am a patent attorney with Reichel IP LLC, where I concentrate my practice on patent drafting and prosecution, trademarks, and general intellectual property matters. I currently focus on the preparation and prosecution of medical device and other life sciences patent applications, and being actively involved in a number of local not-for-profit organizations.

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