What the US’ Pursuit of Foreign Nation-state Hackers Means for Cybercrime Victims and Targets

January 4, 2019

O'Melveny partner Ronald Cheng and counsel Mallory Jensen co-authored the article “What the US’ Pursuit of Foreign Nation-state Hackers Means for Cybercrime Victims and Targets” for the January 2019 issue of Cybersecurity Law & Strategy.

The piece examines the new US government focus on prosecuting cybersecurity crimes by nation states. Recent announcements by the Department of Justice (DOJ) show that this enforcement campaign is accelerating and expanding.

“At the beginning of November 2018, the US Attorney General announced DOJ’s ‘China Initiative.’ The initiative is based on findings that ‘Chinese sponsorship of hacking into American businesses and commercial networks has been taking place for more than a decade and is a serious problem that burdens American commerce.’ Its goals are to ‘identify priority Chinese trade theft cases, ensure that we have enough resources dedicated to them, and make sure that we bring them to an appropriate conclusion quickly and effectively.' In the months preceding the announcement, DOJ announced an escalating series of indictments against foreign defendants, particularly individuals from China and Russia,” the authors write. “As US law enforcement continues to address the efforts of foreign state-sponsored actors to target US companies’ assets, it is timely to review what companies need to know about the factual and legal parameters of these cases, as well as how they should prepare themselves both to prevent such attacks on themselves, and what to do in the event of such an attack.”

Read the full article here.