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Engineer Charged with Stealing U.S. Government Trade Secrets for Chinese Military

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Engineer Charged with Stealing U.S. Government Trade Secrets for Chinese Military

Edited by: TJVNews.com

In a startling development, federal prosecutors have leveled charges against a 57-year-old engineer, Chenguang Gong, employed at a Los Angeles-area company. The Department of Justice (DOJ) revealed on Wednesday that Gong stands accused of pilfering trade secret technologies crucial to the United States’ national security endeavors in space, as was reported on Thursday on the CNBC web site. These technologies, designed to detect nuclear missile launches and track ballistic and hypersonic missiles, are considered highly sensitive and could pose a significant threat if acquired by foreign entities, particularly the Chinese military.

According to prosecutors, Gong, a native of China who acquired American citizenship in 2011, resides in San Jose, California. CNBC reported that his arrest on Tuesday marked a significant development in an ongoing investigation into potential espionage activities targeting sensitive U.S. technologies. Gong is slated to appear at a detention hearing later on Wednesday.

The complaint, lodged against the engineer, details the timeline of the alleged offenses. It reveals that the files in question were illicitly transferred between March 30 and April 25, with a staggering revelation that over 1,800 of these files were exchanged after the engineer had accepted a job offer from a key competitor in early April, as was reported by CNBC.

The complaint further reveals Gong’s alleged actions in transferring over 3,600 digital files from the research and development company in Malibu where he was briefly employed. As was indicated in the report on the CNBC web site, these files, stored on personal devices, are believed to contain sensitive information pertinent to national security interests.

Los Angeles U.S. Attorney Martin Estrada underscored Gong’s alleged efforts to provide classified information to the People’s Republic of China, expressing concerns over the ramifications for U.S. national security. According to the information in the CNBC report, the criminal complaint filed in Los Angeles federal court outlines Gong’s involvement in multiple applications for Chinese government-run “talent programs” spanning the years 2014 to 2022. During this period, Gong was employed by prominent U.S. technology companies and a major defense contractor, raising alarm over potential breaches in security protocols within these organizations.

The complaint elucidates Gong’s strategic maneuvers to align his proposals with the objectives of the Chinese Talent Program Tracker, a mechanism utilized by the Chinese government to identify and recruit individuals with specialized skills and knowledge for military and economic advancement, according to the information in the CNBC report. Gong allegedly submitted proposals mirroring his work for U.S. companies, emphasizing their utility for China’s military endeavors. Notably, he purportedly emphasized that China lacked the technological advancements he proposed to develop or share with Chinese entities.

Estrada emphasized the gravity of the situation, warning of the persistent threat posed by foreign actors, particularly the People’s Republic of China, in their attempts to illicitly acquire U.S. technology. The report on the CNBC web site said that he reaffirmed the DOJ’s commitment to safeguarding American innovations against such nefarious activities.

The gravity of the situation amplifies when considering the nature of the stolen data. According to the DOJ, the pilfered files encompassed crucial blueprints for sophisticated infrared sensors. These sensors were specifically engineered for deployment in space-based systems, intended to detect nuclear missile launches and monitor ballistic and hypersonic missiles, CNBC reported.  Additionally, the files reportedly contained designs for sensors crucial in enabling U.S. military aircraft to detect incoming heat-seeking missiles and execute countermeasures, including the capability to disrupt the missiles’ infrared tracking systems.

Gong’s role within the company further exacerbates the severity of the allegations. As the individual responsible for managing the design and development of readout integrated circuits on the company’s sensors, he had unfettered access to highly classified information. CNBC also reported that many of the files he purportedly transferred were marked with designations such as “proprietary,” “for official use only,” and “export controlled,” underscoring their sensitive nature and the potential ramifications of their unauthorized dissemination.

The sequence of events leading to Gong’s exposure unfolded when the company, in response to suspicious network activity, conducted a search of his office. Their findings were alarming—a flash drive containing the transferred files was discovered. This discovery prompted an interrogation of Gong, during which he initially provided evasive and conflicting responses, as was noted in the CNBC report. However, under mounting pressure, he eventually confessed to the unauthorized transfer of files from his work laptop to personal drives, as well as accessing them on his personal computer.

Subsequent actions by both the victim company and Gong’s subsequent employer further elucidate the severity of the situation. The victim company terminated Gong’s employment in late April following the discovery of the illicit activity. According to the information in the CNBC report, Gong swiftly secured a position at another company, commencing employment on May 1. However, his tenure was short-lived, as he was summarily dismissed just nine days later when his former employer alerted the new company to the details of his file transfers.

The ramifications of Gong’s alleged actions extend far beyond the confines of corporate espionage. The theft and potential dissemination of sensitive military technology pose a significant threat to national security, potentially compromising defense capabilities and placing lives at risk. Moreover, the incident underscores the pressing need for robust cybersecurity measures and vigilant oversight to safeguard against similar breaches in the future.

 

Edited by: TJVNews.com

In a startling development, federal prosecutors have leveled charges against a 57-year-old engineer, Chenguang Gong, employed at a Los Angeles-area company. The Department of Justice (DOJ) revealed on Wednesday that Gong stands accused of pilfering trade secret technologies crucial to the United States’ national security endeavors in space, as was reported on Thursday on the CNBC web site. These technologies, designed to detect nuclear missile launches and track ballistic and hypersonic missiles, are considered highly sensitive and could pose a significant threat if acquired by foreign entities, particularly the Chinese military.

According to prosecutors, Gong, a native of China who acquired American citizenship in 2011, resides in San Jose, California. CNBC reported that his arrest on Tuesday marked a significant development in an ongoing investigation into potential espionage activities targeting sensitive U.S. technologies. Gong is slated to appear at a detention hearing later on Wednesday.

The complaint, lodged against the engineer, details the timeline of the alleged offenses. It reveals that the files in question were illicitly transferred between March 30 and April 25, with a staggering revelation that over 1,800 of these files were exchanged after the engineer had accepted a job offer from a key competitor in early April, as was reported by CNBC.

The complaint further reveals Gong’s alleged actions in transferring over 3,600 digital files from the research and development company in Malibu where he was briefly employed. As was indicated in the report on the CNBC web site, these files, stored on personal devices, are believed to contain sensitive information pertinent to national security interests.

Los Angeles U.S. Attorney Martin Estrada underscored Gong’s alleged efforts to provide classified information to the People’s Republic of China, expressing concerns over the ramifications for U.S. national security. According to the information in the CNBC report, the criminal complaint filed in Los Angeles federal court outlines Gong’s involvement in multiple applications for Chinese government-run “talent programs” spanning the years 2014 to 2022. During this period, Gong was employed by prominent U.S. technology companies and a major defense contractor, raising alarm over potential breaches in security protocols within these organizations.

The complaint elucidates Gong’s strategic maneuvers to align his proposals with the objectives of the Chinese Talent Program Tracker, a mechanism utilized by the Chinese government to identify and recruit individuals with specialized skills and knowledge for military and economic advancement, according to the information in the CNBC report. Gong allegedly submitted proposals mirroring his work for U.S. companies, emphasizing their utility for China’s military endeavors. Notably, he purportedly emphasized that China lacked the technological advancements he proposed to develop or share with Chinese entities.

Estrada emphasized the gravity of the situation, warning of the persistent threat posed by foreign actors, particularly the People’s Republic of China, in their attempts to illicitly acquire U.S. technology. The report on the CNBC web site said that he reaffirmed the DOJ’s commitment to safeguarding American innovations against such nefarious activities.

The gravity of the situation amplifies when considering the nature of the stolen data. According to the DOJ, the pilfered files encompassed crucial blueprints for sophisticated infrared sensors. These sensors were specifically engineered for deployment in space-based systems, intended to detect nuclear missile launches and monitor ballistic and hypersonic missiles, CNBC reported.  Additionally, the files reportedly contained designs for sensors crucial in enabling U.S. military aircraft to detect incoming heat-seeking missiles and execute countermeasures, including the capability to disrupt the missiles’ infrared tracking systems.

Gong’s role within the company further exacerbates the severity of the allegations. As the individual responsible for managing the design and development of readout integrated circuits on the company’s sensors, he had unfettered access to highly classified information. CNBC also reported that many of the files he purportedly transferred were marked with designations such as “proprietary,” “for official use only,” and “export controlled,” underscoring their sensitive nature and the potential ramifications of their unauthorized dissemination.

The sequence of events leading to Gong’s exposure unfolded when the company, in response to suspicious network activity, conducted a search of his office. Their findings were alarming—a flash drive containing the transferred files was discovered. This discovery prompted an interrogation of Gong, during which he initially provided evasive and conflicting responses, as was noted in the CNBC report. However, under mounting pressure, he eventually confessed to the unauthorized transfer of files from his work laptop to personal drives, as well as accessing them on his personal computer.

Subsequent actions by both the victim company and Gong’s subsequent employer further elucidate the severity of the situation. The victim company terminated Gong’s employment in late April following the discovery of the illicit activity. According to the information in the CNBC report, Gong swiftly secured a position at another company, commencing employment on May 1. However, his tenure was short-lived, as he was summarily dismissed just nine days later when his former employer alerted the new company to the details of his file transfers.

The ramifications of Gong’s alleged actions extend far beyond the confines of corporate espionage. The theft and potential dissemination of sensitive military technology pose a significant threat to national security, potentially compromising defense capabilities and placing lives at risk. Moreover, the incident underscores the pressing need for robust cybersecurity measures and vigilant oversight to safeguard against similar breaches in the future.

 

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