Espionage involves gathering information to gain a competitive advantage. It can be conducted by governments, corporations, and individuals. It can involve hacking, theft, deception, blackmail, and sabotage.


President George Washington understood the power of espionage during the Revolutionary War and employed spies, codes, and cipher machines. The US Congress enacted the Espionage Act in 1917, just two months after the country entered World War I.


Spies can gather information about an enemy’s forces by infiltrating their ranks. They may also seek out dissidents and sabotage enemy targets. In addition, they can provide intelligence about the enemy’s plans and operations to their superiors. This information can be very valuable to a military leader during wartime. Counterintelligence is the process of thwarting enemy espionage and intelligence-gathering. It is an important component of a military strategy, and almost all sovereign states have strict laws against espionage.

Cyber espionage occurs when foreign agents or criminals obtain sensitive information or intellectual property from US companies and establishments. These activities compromise the foundations of the American economy and can cause long-term economic harm. They also jeopardize national security by compromising the development of critical technologies. 서울흥신소

The most common target of cyber espionage is large corporations and government agencies that possess valuable intellectual property and technical data. However, these attacks can be directed against individual high-profile figures, including political leaders and celebrities.

Many cyber espionage attacks use social engineering tactics to trick victims into revealing personal information, clicking malicious links or downloading malware. These techniques often target emotions like excitement, curiosity or empathy and exploit people’s natural tendencies to act quickly and impulsively. The use of these techniques makes it difficult for law enforcement to pursue cybercriminals. As a result, the most serious cases typically involve foreign actors who are not subject to extradition.

Counterespionage 서울흥신소

Foreign intelligence organisations are constantly attempting to gain access to information that would undermine New Zealand’s national security. Countering such threats remains a major focus of the NZSIS. These activities are typically carried out in three overlapping phases: detection, or the recognition of some actual or apparent evidence of subversive activity; investigation, or finding out more about this evidence; and research and analysis, or putting this information into such a form that it can be used.

Spying can occur both on the part of governments and by individuals, who may be recruited to act as spies or saboteurs. The latter can be referred to as a “rogue insider,” such as Aldrich Ames or Robert Hanssen, and they are often the greatest threat to national security. They can expose vulnerabilities, stealing intellectual property and revealing secrets. They can also tamper with data or disrupt business operations, as demonstrated by cyberattacks.

In 2023, China introduced amendments to the existing Counter-Espionage Law (CEL). These amendments widen the scope of punishable espionage activities by adding to the list of information that would be considered as such. This could bring a slew of documents, data or materials that did not previously rise to the level of state secrets or intelligence into its purview, such as China’s real Covid death toll and authentic market data in strategic industries.

Industrial espionage

The theft of intellectual property like trade secrets is one of the most common forms of industrial espionage. This information can include manufacturing processes, techniques, chemical formulas, or ideas that have a high value to competitors. The penalties for this type of espionage are very high and can be severe if caught.

The threat of industrial espionage is real, but it often goes under the radar. It is a hidden menace that affects businesses around the world. It’s estimated that industrial espionage costs the United States $100 billion per year in lost revenue. While most companies have up to date malware protection and cyber security, few think about incident response plans, control of storage devices, or formal policies when it comes to industrial espionage.

The most obvious method of stealing intellectual property is hacking into a company’s computer systems to steal files and data. However, there are many other ways to steal trade secret information, including dumpster diving, crashing investor meetings, or even bribing employees. Some governments use industrial espionage as a tool to pursue economic or financial goals, but it can also benefit private entities as well. In a famous case, Xu – a Chinese intelligence officer – conspired with GE Aviation to steal their unique aircraft fan technology and take it back to China. The case highlighted the steep penalties of industrial espionage, even if it is not criminal.

Military espionage

In the world of military espionage, spies can collect information regarding enemy operations or other intelligence of military value. This information can help a military force plan a strategy, develop new weapons, or even retaliate against the enemy. While military espionage is often associated with the use of terrorist tactics, it can also occur in peacetime.

A spy, or secret agent, can be used by any organization — a government, company, criminal group or other entity that wishes to gain secrets and information. Spying can happen through various methods, including infiltrating ranks, recruiting dissidents or stealing information from within a target. A good spy must be able to gather information without being detected.

Spying is also a dangerous business, and it can result in severe penalties. A person caught committing espionage may be arrested, tortured or killed. In the U.S., the Espionage Act of 1917 and the Sedition Act of 1918 criminalize many types of espionage activities. These acts are still in effect today, and many prosecutions under these laws have led to landmark First Amendment cases, such as Schenck v. United States and Debs v. United States.

Spies can gather information in a variety of ways, from infiltrating the rank and file to gathering information from those who have access to classified materials. They can also intercept information via telephone, radio or video, or by hacking into a computer. Some spies choose to meet their targets, while others prefer to communicate over the Internet or through other electronic means.