China stealing AI feed data from America for Spying

As per a report featured in the Wall Street Journal, there has been a notable surge in China’s illicit acquisition of extensive datasets designated for training Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools in the United States. The apparent objective behind this activity is to conduct mass surveillance on millions of Americans by constructing detailed profiles based on their economic, political, and social inclinations.

The article underscores the escalating trend of espionage and substantial data thefts from both American corporations and federal entities over the past five years. China’s interest lies in utilizing this pilfered data to conduct thorough analyses, gather intelligence, launch cyber-attacks, and enhance its competitive prowess across various domains.

In essence, every AI platform relies on large datasets to amass intelligence and effectively respond to human queries. The leadership of Xi Jinping has strategically targeted these technological feeds, engaging in information theft and espionage. This encompasses the coercion of corporate employees to purloin and surrender data and trade secrets pertaining to their respective companies.

An illustrative incident supporting these claims involves the arrest of an Apple employee named Xiaolang Zhang in July 2018. Zhang was apprehended in the act of stealing and transmitting information related to Apple’s automated cars to servers located in Beijing.

The scope of data theft extends to incidents such as the compromise of Microsoft Exchange Servers, the Marriott Data Breach, and the Equifax data breach, all conducted under the guise of Project Typhoon, revealing a broader pattern of Chinese involvement in pilfering AI training data.

According to the FBI, China’s penchant for pilfering trade secrets is not a recent development, as the nation has been involved in systematic “information gathering” for an extended period. The Biden administration has taken decisive measures to address this threat by instructing the Pentagon to fortify vulnerable data access points in both public and private entities. These efforts have borne fruit since 2022, with government intelligence resources not only thwarting fraudulent access attempts but also possessing evidence to identify and address adversaries involved in these activities.

It is evident that China, as the world’s most populous nation, continues to excel in diverse fields. Its predominant trade asset, electronic production, has proliferated globally, particularly in the Western hemisphere. Imposing a trade ban may prove ineffective, as China appears impervious to external pressures on its development. The only conceivable restraint could be in controlling its diminishing population growth, a factor that currently appears to be the only limitation on its expansive trajectory.

Naveen Goud
Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

No posts to display