Symantec Security is the latest major American corporation to suffer the loss of sensitive intellectual assets after hackers obtained the source code underlying its popular antivirus software.
Earlier in the week, hackers raised eyebrows in the cybersecurity community by posting what appeared to be an extensive expose of Symantec's technological underpinnings. According to PCWorld, the perpetrators claimed to have stolen the materials from servers operated by the Indian intelligence community. The incident could pose further danger to separate government contractors.
Symantec officials came forward today to acknowledge that a breach had occurred. However, according to the news source, company officials contend that the stolen assets are no longer relevant to the coding found on the software solutions.
As the case unfolds, it may draw further attention to the importance of protecting intellectual assets - particularly in the arena of international commerce.
"Globalization has had a dramatic impact on our intellectual property," explained Forbes staff writer Eric Savitz in a recent column. "International threats to data come from two primary sources - the offshore outsourcers we contract with for product development who can then make bootlegged or pirated copies of our products, and malicious cyberattacks by organizations and governments in China, Russia and other locations."
By Savitz's estimates, this lack of IP management fundamentals may cost the U.S. economy $290 billion by 2018 if current trends hold.