Thursday, April 21, 2011

CIA reveals invisible ink recipes used by WWI spies

bbc.co.uk
World War I spies engraved messages on toe-nails and used lemon juice to write invisible letters, classified documents released by the CIA reveal.

The six documents, amongst the oldest secret papers to be held by the agency, disclose a number of spying techniques.

The nearly century-old records include instructions "to suspect and examine every possible thing".

Recent advancements in technology have made it possible to release the documents, the CIA said.

One document suggests soaking a handkerchief, or any other starched substance, in nitrate, soda and starch, in order to make a portable invisible ink solution.

Putting the treated handkerchief in water would release a solution that could then be used to write secret messages, the records say. A document written in 1914 in French, exposes a German formula for making secret ink, suggesting that French spies had managed to crack the enemy's code.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Herbert Yardley revealed all these methods in 1931 in his book The Black Chamber. The book was in response to Henry Stimson shutting down America's covert signal intelligence gathering capability. Interestingly enough, there wasn't a CIA when any of this was printed his book or these documents were produced.

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