Tuesday, June 29, 2010

High-Tech Espionage Helped Alleged Russian Spies


High-tech espionage is alive and well.

According to documents released Monday in the case of 11 Russians accused of spying in the U.S., cold-war era spying is dead. The modern spy is a Jason-Bourne style stealth agent who relies on tech to uncover secrets.

According to a story on CNET, the court papers made public by the Justice Department (PDF and PDF) show that the group used private wireless networks to transmit files, passed data on USB memory sticks and sent text messages -- all protected and encrypted with custom-written "steganographic" software

, which let them hide secret messages in otherwise innocent-looking files.

Defendant Anna Chapman reportedly brought her laptop to a Manhattan coffee shop and transferred data with a Russian government official -- who drove by in a minivan but never entered the store. Chapman also allegedly opened her laptop while in a bookstore in lower Manhattan and used a private Wi-Fi network to communicate with the same Russian official.



Picture Man said...

JD, this is an extraordinary insight. Over the last 24 hours I'd heard a few ramblings advocating higher registration requirements (e.g. ~ showing your passport at wifi cafes in Europe) in order to use wireless networks in public places. This completely nips that argument in the bud!

Even with our government's vast electronic listening capabilities, whether exercised domestically or not - it wouldn't of mattered if I'm reading this correctly.

Good find, have a top notch Independence Day.

Anonymous said...