Economic and industrial espionage at the start of the 21st century – Status quaestionis


  • Klaus Solberg Søilen



Economic espionage, hacking, industrial espionage, literature review, signal intelligence


This article is a literature review where the aim is to define a status quaestionisfor the field of economic and industrial espionage. History shows how those who engage in theseactivities often are the scientifically and industrially weaker party, the party that is learning ortrying to catch up. On a global scale economic and industrial espionage can be seen as a form ofinvoluntarily sharing that has a series of positive results for economic development. On thescale of the individual businesses attacked, and for tax authorities in those countries, it is atroublesome phenomenon that must be regulated and punished. Governments must preparesociety for systematic and frequent cyberattacks. Private companies are wise to move to strictersecurity controls, which must include encryption. A number of specific research projects aresuggested throughout the article. In the literature we have identified the following agentmotives: the employee who needs money, has split loyalties, leaves angry, the occasional thieveand the professional spy.


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