FRANCE: Industrial espionage alive and hacking
24 July 2009
“Competitive intelligence” is an increasingly widespread activity – and not only within the military-industrial complex. The French daily Libération profiles a current case in point: that of amateur computer scientist and professional hacker Alain Quiros, the main operative in three major industrial espionage scandals. The targets: a leader of Greenpeace, the solicitor for stockholders of Vivendi and EADS, and an anti-doping laboratory. In each case, Quiros hacked into his victim’s computers. Two of his alleged clients have already been revealed: the French mega-utility EDF, which is said to have set up “strategic surveillance” to keep abreast of planned Greenpeace activities; and US cyclist and ex-Tour de France champ Floyd Landis, whom the lab in question tested positive for excessive testosterone in 2006. “This story is emblematic of a crooked profession that has developed outside of any legal framework […] and underscores the need to regulate the ‘competitive intelligence’ sector,” opines Libération.