Update May 23, 2018Reuters reports the U.S. Attorney has opted not to prosecute\u00a0Dong Liu\u00a0for his attempt to access the computer network of Medrobotics Corp. While no reason was provided, Liu's attorney suggests the U.S. Attorney was unable to prove that Liu successfully accessed the company's network and the trade secrets.-------------------------------On Aug. 28, 2017, Medrobotics in Raynham, Massachusetts, found an unexpected visitor within their corporate headquarters. Dong Liu had managed to get into the corporate spaces and was discovered by an employee of Medrobotics \u2014\u00a0the CEO.Liu\u2019s LinkedIn profile, which he attempted to use as bona fides with the CEO, shows he is currently a senior partner at Boss & Young Patent and Trademark Law Office, located in Beijing, Shanghai and Macau. At Boss & Young, his responsibilities include \u201cleading the firm\u2019s Intellectual Property (IP) practice in medical device, bio-tech, clean-tech, and other emerging high-tech areas such as new media. Also responsible for the firm\u2019s IP licensing and transaction services.\u201d That's quite the mouthful. And apparently \u201ctransaction services\u201d includes purloining the IP of others the old-fashioned way, stealing the IP.Rarely does one encounter industrial\/corporate espionage being conducted in such a brazen manner.According to the criminal complaint filed by the Department of Justice, Liu had been targeting Medrobotics for some time. You see, Medrobotics has evolved the next-generation, robot-assisted devices for surgeons, which permit minimally invasive surgery \u2014\u00a0their Flex\u00ae Robotic System.How Liu got into Medrobotics and stole the laptopsLiu, according to the complaint, used LinkedIn as his social network of choice to engage various (unidentified) Medrobotics employees. The degree to which he was successful at eliciting information to facilitate his escapades is unknown. What is known is that the engagement did not deter his alleged attempt to steal Medrobotics technology.On Aug. 27, Liu (a holder of both Chinese and Canadian passports) drove into the U.S. from Canada. The following day, he made his way to the Medrobotics headquarters. Employees noticed him in the lobby at 5 p.m. and again 6 p.m. taking videos of the electronic signage. At 7:30 p.m., the CEO saw him sitting in an adjoining conference room, which was behind the company\u2019s security perimeter (hard line). When confronted, Liu dissembled quickly, saying he was there to meet an employee (who was out of country). Then he offered a name of another employee (who did not have an appointment scheduled). Then he finally landing on the name of the CEO, who was standing in front of him.The CEO called the police, and Liu was arrested.\u00a0Liu was originally charged with trespassing, but when the Department of Justice became involved, the criminal complaint evolved to charges for attempted theft of trade secrets.When discovered, Liu had three laptop computers up and running. Access to the company \u201cguest network\u201d was available to him, as the password was posted on the wall. He said he had been in the room for 2.5 hours.When arrested and his car searched, Liu was found to have the following items:One white Apple iPhone with a gold Mophile caseOne black 16GB smartwatchOne PNY 128 GB thumbdriveTwo Cencux digital camcordersSeven SIM cards, one SD card, and one thumb driveOne Apple watch, serial # FMLQ9803GR7MOne white Hisense smartphoneTwo Seagate portable drives - 2TBOne Apple MacBook Pro Model A1502Three SIM cards and two Micro SD cards in a clear plastic caseOne Microsoft Surface 128GB computer, serial # 014881654353One Apple iPad, serial # DLXT702UGMW7Liu was prepared, technologically, for whatever he encountered at Medrobotics to affect his access to their network. The criminal complaint does not yet identify, what, if any, Medrobotics technology Liu acquired (the investigation continues).Why was Medrobotics targeted?Medrobotics' advanced technology is reason enough, but when one exams the results of the interview with the company's CEO by the FBI special agent (contained within the criminal complaint), we see that the CEO was cautious about doing business with any Chinese company. He describes how he has been approached by various Chinese entities about six times and took those meetings in Boston. While he does not intend to ever do business in China, he found value in listening to what the various entities had to say.And there is the rationale behind the brazen attempt to steal Medrobitics technologies. The company wasn\u2019t willing to engage with a Chinese partner, thereby shutting off trusted insider access to the technology by a Chinese technology company. Which leaves us with Liu, apparently tasked with acquiring the technology, for an unidentified entity.