Foreign countries, especially nations in the Asia-Pacific region, have intensified their efforts to steal sensitive U.S. defense technology, according to a Pentagon report circulated on Wednesday.
The Defense Security Service Counterintelligence Office recorded an annual jump of nearly 43 percent in the number of suspicious foreign contacts reported to U.S. authorities by defense contractors and other defense-related sources.
The agency, which helps protect the U.S. defense industry from foreign espionage, said in an unclassified report that spies used phony business offers and computer hackers to target advanced U.S. technology including lasers, sensors, missiles and other systems. The report covered the fiscal year ending September 2005 and is the most recent for which complete statistics are available.
In one case, a female spy seduced an American translator to learn his computer password. His unclassified network was later found to be infected by viruses planted by a foreign intelligence service.