Feeds

Ford secrets thief caught red handed with stolen blueprints

Was moving to China, now he faces 5 to 6 years in US jail

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

A veteran auto-plant worker faces an extended spell behind bars after pleading guilty last week to stealing industrial secrets, including design blueprints, from car maker Ford and passing them on to a Chinese rival.

Xiang Dong ("Mike") Yu, 49, a product engineer at Ford for 10 years between 1997 and 2007, admitted copying design specs that cost millions to develop onto an external hard drive in December 2006, shortly after he accepted a job at the Chinese branch of a US company.

"On the eve of his departure from Ford and before he told Ford of his new job, Yu copied some 4,000 Ford documents onto an external hard drive, including sensitive Ford design documents," a US Department of Justice statement about the case explains. "Included in those documents were system design specifications for the engine/transmission mounting subsystem, electrical distribution system, electric power supply, electrical subsystem and generic body module, among others."

Yu, who started work at Beijing Automotive Company in 2008, was put on a watch list and arrested during a stopover at Chicago in October 2009. His Beijing Automotive-issued laptop was seized. Later forensic examination uncovered 41 stolen Ford specification documents on the hard drive.

The defendant, who admitted two charges of stealing trade secrets, faces between five to six years in prison and a $150,000 fine. He also faces deportation back to his native China following the end of his prison sentence.

Yu was remanded in custody pending a sentencing hearing due to take place on 23 February. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Tor attack nodes RIPPED MASKS off users for 6 MONTHS
Traffic confirmation attack bared users' privates - but to whom?
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.