Robert Hanssen: Double agent

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pages: 525 words: 131,496

Near and Distant Neighbors: A New History of Soviet Intelligence by Jonathan Haslam

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Albert Einstein, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Bolshevik threat, Bretton Woods, British Empire, cuban missile crisis, falling living standards, John von Neumann, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, Ronald Reagan, Vladimir Vetrov: Farewell Dossier, éminence grise

One underlying vulnerability of the Soviet system was loss of faith, a loss initially delayed at home through timely populism, but immediately damaging abroad. In the end it meant that recruitment of agents could be based almost exclusively upon material incentives. It also meant that as time went on and stagnation took hold at home, Soviet citizens and operatives increasingly fell victim to hostile recruitment. The Americans, too, had succumbed to disillusion as a consequence of the failed war in Vietnam, and the Russians took every opportunity to undermine their U.S. counterparts from within: hence the betrayal of CIA by Aldrich Ames and the FBI by Robert Hanssen. Of course none of this availed Moscow, except in the short term, as the Soviet Union’s ultimate collapse was due to forces far larger than secret intelligence could muster or block.

In fact, the American effort collapsed under the weight of the greed at the heart of its own intelligence establishment. Robert Hanssen at the FBI was responsible for counterintelligence against Soviet operations. From 1979 to 2001, Hanssen gave Moscow the names of those Russians he knew to have been recruited by the American services within the United States. “Perhaps for some in Russia, the 1960s and the beginning of the 1980s were the years of social stagnation,” the former KGB rezident Solomatin recalled with smug satisfaction. “But as the John Walker affair shows, this was not true for the Soviet intelligence service.”49 After William Casey took over CIA under Reagan, the Americans combined a diplomatic offensive against the Soviet Union with a frontal assault on its entire intelligence network. A number of agents were recruited: Gennadii Varenik (“Fitness”), Valerii Martynov (“Gentile”), Sergei Motorin (“Gauze”), Vladimir Piguzov (“Jogger”), Gennady Smetanin (“Million”), Boris Yuzhin (“Twine”), Vyacheslav Baranov (“Tony”), and Sergei Bokhan (“Blizzard”).50 CIA veteran Paul Redmond has estimated that “we had well into the double digits of good penetrations of the Soviet government, most of them being run out of Moscow.”51 The British already had an unusually well-informed asset, Oleg Gordievsky, in place as deputy rezident in London.

Every operative, on leaving the premises, had to indicate with a pin on the map his precise location, so that Androsov could tell at a glance where everyone was. Colonel Viktor Cherkashin, head of foreign counterintelligence at the rezidentura, was never consulted on this, and on returning from leave in March 1984 expressed his horror. All it needed was an American agent in their midst, and the FBI could watch for all operatives meeting their contacts to roll up whatever activities were in progress. When Cherkashin tested his hunch by creating a fictitious new operative, only to find the FBI on the ground awaiting him, Androsov refused to acknowledge the implications of this discovery—that there was, indeed, an FBI agent in their midst—since reporting it would jeopardise his own continuation in post and Kryuchkov’s standing, too. Even when Cherkashin identified Valerii Martynov as the culprit, nothing was done until eventually Martynov was named by others.48 U.S. human intelligence operations in the Soviet Union, always a point of vulnerability, collapsed under the successful Soviet counterintelligence drive accelerated by Andropov—at least that is what Major General Rem Krasil’nikov, head of the first (American) department of the KGB’s Second Main Directorate (1979–1992), claims.

 

pages: 264 words: 79,589

Kingpin: How One Hacker Took Over the Billion-Dollar Cybercrime Underground by Kevin Poulsen

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Apple II, Brian Krebs, Burning Man, corporate governance, dumpster diving, Exxon Valdez, Hacker Ethic, hive mind, index card, McMansion, Mercator projection, offshore financial centre, packet switching, pirate software, Ponzi scheme, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, traffic fines, web application, WikiLeaks, zero day, Zipcar

Almost overnight Mularski went from managing furniture stores to working on some of the FBI’s most important, and highly classified, investigations. When, in 1999, a listening device was found in an office on the top floor of the State Department’s headquarters, he was part of the team that identified a Russian diplomat monitoring the transmitter from outside. In 2001, he helped bring down Robert Hanssen, a fellow counterespionage agent who’d been secretly spying for the KGB and its successor agency for twenty years. It was heady work, but the secrecy chafed Mularski: He held a top-secret clearance and couldn’t talk about his job with outsiders—even his wife. So when headquarters announced openings for two experienced agents to kick-start an ambitious cybercrime initiative in Pittsburgh, he saw a chance to go home and step out of the shadows at the same time.

Hidden cameras and microphones recorded everything in the office, and FBI-installed spyware captured every keystroke typed on the computers. In the parking lot outside, around twenty FBI agents were standing by to help with the arrest. The agent playing CEO Patterson tried to draw Gorshkov out some more. “What about credit cards? Credit card numbers? Anything like that?” “When we’re here, we’ll never say that we got access to credit card numbers,” the hacker replied. The FBI agent and Gorshkov laughed conspiratorially. “I understand. I hear ya, I hear ya,” said Patterson. When the two-hour meeting concluded, Patterson ushered the men into a car, ostensibly to take them to the temporary housing arranged for their visit. After a short drive, the car stopped. Agents threw open the doors and arrested the Russians. Back at the office, an FBI agent realized the keystroke logger installed on the bureau computers at Invita presented him with a rare opportunity.

Max foraged through the hard drive, and his suspicions were confirmed: The disk was packed with FBI reports. Chris was shaken by the discovery of an FBI cybercrime agent in his own backyard, but Max was intrigued—the agent’s hard drive offered potentially useful insight into the bureau’s methods. They talked about what to do next. Some of the files indicated the agent had an informant who was providing information on Script, the CarderPlanet leader who sold Chris his first dumps. Should they warn Script that there was an informant in his circle? They decided to do nothing; if he were ever busted, Max figured, he might be able to play this as a trump card. If it got out that he’d accidentally hacked an FBI agent, it could embarrass the bureau, maybe even cost them some convictions. He returned to his work hacking the carders.

 

pages: 282 words: 92,998

Cyber War: The Next Threat to National Security and What to Do About It by Richard A. Clarke, Robert Knake

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barriers to entry, complexity theory, data acquisition, Just-in-time delivery, nuclear winter, packet switching, RAND corporation, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, smart grid, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, trade route, Y2K, zero day

The equivalent of ten copies of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, all 32 volumes and 44 million words, ten times over. If a Cold War spy wanted to move that much information out of a secret, classified facility, he would have needed a small moving van and a forklift. He also would have risked getting caught or killed. Robert Hanssen, the FBI employee who spied for the Soviets, and then the Russians, starting in the 1980s, never revealed anywhere near that much material in over two decades. He secreted documents out of FBI headquarters, wrapped them in plastic bags, and left them in dead drops in parks near his home in Virginia. In all, Hanssen’s betrayal amounted to no more than a few hundred pages of documents. Hanssen now spends twenty-three hours a day in solitary confinement in his cell at the supermax prison in Colorado Springs.

That suggests we need to increase our efforts to combat cyber crime. Today both the FBI and the Secret Service investigate cyber crime, with help from Customs (now called Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE) and the Federal Trade Commission. Yet companies and citizens across the country complain that their reports of cyber crime go unanswered. The Justice Department’s ninety independent prosecutors scattered around the nation often ignore cyber crime because individual cyber thefts usually fall below the $100,000 minimum necessary for a federal case to be authorized. The U.S. attorneys are also often computer illiterate and do not want to investigate a crime where the culprit is in some other city or, worse yet, another country. The President could assign the FBI and Secret Service agents who cover cyber crime to the proposed Cyber Defense Administration, along with attorneys to prepare cases for the Justice Department.

In the hypothetical exercise, both the U.S. and China opened previously installed trapdoors in the other country’s networks and then set off logic bombs that had been implanted earlier in, among other places, the electric power grids. Beyond the exercise, there is good reason to believe that someone actually has already implanted logic bombs in the U.S. power grid control networks. Several people who should know implied or confirmed that the U.S. has also already engaged in the same kind of preparation of the battlefield. Imagine if the FBI announced that it had arrested dozens of Chinese government agents running around the country strapping C4 explosive charges to those big, ugly high-tension transmission line towers and to some of those unmanned step-down electric substation transformers that dot the landscape. The nation would be in an outrage. Certain Congressmen would demand that we declare war, or at least slap punitive tariffs on Chinese imports. Somebody would insist that we start calling Chinese food “liberty snacks.”

 

pages: 719 words: 209,224

The Dead Hand: The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and Its Dangerous Legacy by David Hoffman

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anti-communist, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, crony capitalism, cuban missile crisis, failed state, joint-stock company, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, nuclear winter, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Silicon Valley, Stanislav Petrov, Thomas L Friedman, uranium enrichment, Vladimir Vetrov: Farewell Dossier

Casey, the CIA director, took huge delight in the Yurchenko defection. "Casey was like a child with a new toy with Yurchenko," Gates said. "Not only was he eager to hear, virtually on a daily basis, about the debriefings: he also could not help bragging about this great CIA coup. He met with Yurchenko, had dinner with him, couldn't get enough of him."26 On October 1, 1985, Robert Hanssen, an FBI analyst on Soviet intelligence, dropped a letter into a mailbox in Prince George's County, outside of Washington. Hanssen was based in the New York office but was working that day in the capital. The letter was addressed to the home of a KGB operative, Viktor Degtyar, who lived in Alexandria, Virginia. The letter arrived October 4. Inside an outer envelope was a second envelope that Hanssen marked "DO NOT OPEN. TAKE THIS ENVELOPE UNOPENED TO VICTOR I.

For a decade, Walker had run a navy spy ring for the Soviets, feeding them top-secret communications documents stolen from American warships. Walker's partners in espionage included Jerry Whitworth, who had served on the U.S.S. Enterprise and leaked classified communications from the Pacific Ocean exercises in 1983. Walker did not realize it on this night, but the FBI, after months of investigation, was closing in on him and watching his every move in the woods. When Walker drove away, an FBI agent picked up the 7-Up can, intended as a signal to the Soviets that Walker had left them something and wanted to pick up money. Then the FBI found the brown paper bag, and in the bottom of it was an inch-thick package, wrapped in a white plastic garbage sack. The corners were neatly folded over and taped. Inside were 129 secret documents stolen from the U.S.S. Nimitz and a letter, "Dear Friend," outlining the activities of others in his spy ring, including Whitworth, using coded letters of the alphabet to disguise their identities.

., he was awakened by an apologetic clerk at the front desk of the hotel, saying someone had accidentally smashed into his van in the parking lot. Could he come down with his insurance forms? It was a ruse. At the elevator, Walker was arrested by the FBI. Soon, U.S. intelligence and military officials began to unravel the incredible story of how Walker had given away some of the deepest secrets of the Cold War. On May 28, in Moscow, Gordievsky took some pep pills the British had given him in London to fight fatigue. At the office, he was summoned to meet agents from KGB counterintelligence who wanted to talk about possible penetration of the KGB in London. Gordievsky was driven several miles from headquarters to a small bungalow, where he met the agents. They had lunch, and a servant poured them all a brandy. Gordievsky took his and passed out. He had been drugged. When he awoke, Gordievsky realized what had happened.

 

pages: 826 words: 231,966

GCHQ by Richard Aldrich

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Berlin Wall, British Empire, colonial exploitation, cuban missile crisis, friendly fire, illegal immigration, index card, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, New Journalism, packet switching, private military company, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, University of East Anglia, Yom Kippur War, Zimmermann PGP

Edward Lee Howard, a CIA officer, was also revealed to be working for the Russians. To cap it all, in November 1985 it was discovered that Jonathan Pollard, a Mossad spy inside the Pentagon, had been handing over very sensitive material to the Israelis. The Americans had not yet uncovered the two best covert sources employed by the Soviets, namely a CIA officer called Aldrich Ames and an FBI officer, Robert Hanssen.22 These frightening cases of KGB espionage had a direct impact on the British, since they made Bill Odom all the keener to see the polygraph deployed by GCHQ at Cheltenham.23 Alongside KGB espionage, the other big issue of the time was relations between the Western sigint allies. In 1985 the United States cut off the intelligence flow to New Zealand, one of the ‘second party’ members of UKUSA.

They contained worrying news: For one year, a large amount of very valuable documentary material concerning the work of the Americans on deciphering Soviet cyphers, intercepting and analysing open-radio correspondence of Soviet Institutions was received…On the basis of Weisband material, our state security organs carried out a number of defensive measures, resulting in the reduced efficiency of the American deciphering service. This has led to a considerable current reduction in the amount of deciphering and analysis by the Americans.29 In May 1950 Weisband was named by another agent who had been revealed by Venona and interrogated by the FBI. Although Weisband was questioned, there was insufficient evidence to charge him. There was also a fear that a court case would advertise the work of signals intelligence to other countries, which might then take steps to upgrade their communications. He was never prosecuted for espionage.30 Yet Weisband caused immense damage to Western code-breaking. On Friday, 29 October 1948 the Soviets implemented a massive change in all their communications security procedures.

., Most Secret War (Hamish Hamilton, 1978) —Reflections on Intelligence (Heinemann, 1989) Kalugin, O. and Montaigne, F., The First Directorate: My First 32 Years in Intelligence and Espionage Against the West – The Ultimate Memoirs of a Master Spy (NY: St Martin’s Press, 1994) King, C.H., The Cecil King Diaries, 1965–1970 (Jonathan Cape, 1972) Kot, S., Conversations with the Kremlin and Dispatches from Russia (Oxford: Oxford UP, 1963) Lamphere, R.J. and Shachtman, T., The FBI-KGB War: A Special Agent’s Story (W.H. Allen, 1986) Lawson, N., The View From No.11: Memoirs of a Tory Radical (Heinemann, 1992) Lederer, W., The Last Cruise: The Sinking of the Submarine USS Cochino (William Sloane, 1950) Leutze, J. (ed.), The London Observer: The Journal of General Raymond E. Lee, 1940–1941 (Hutchinson, 1972) McGehee, R.W., Deadly Deceits: My 25 Years in the CIA (NY: Sheridan Square, 1983) McManners, H., Falklands Commando (William Kimber, 1984) —Forgotten Voices of the Falklands: The Real Story of the Falklands War (Ebury, 2008) Machon, A., Spies, Lies and Whistleblowers: MI5, MI6 and the Shayler Affair (Lewes: The Book Guild, 2005) Major, J., The Autobiography (HarperCollins, 1999) Mathams, R.H., Sub-Rosa; Memoirs of an Australian Intelligence Analyst (Sydney: Allen and Unwin, 1982) Mendez, A. and J., Spy Dust: Two Masters of Disguise Reveal the Tools and Operations that Helped Win the Cold War (NY: Atria Books, 2002) Mills, D., My Life as a Coder (Special), D/MX 919781, 1952–54 (Branston, Lincs: privately published, 2005) Modin, Y., My Five Cambridge Friends (Headline, 1994) Nott, J., Here Today Gone Tomorrow: Recollections of an Errant Politician (Politico’s, 2002) Owen, D., Time to Declare (Michael Joseph, 1991) Patten, C., Not Quite the Diplomat: Home Truths About World Affairs (Allen Lane, 2005) Pavlov, V., Memoirs of a Spymaster: My Fifty Years in the KGB (NY: Carroll and Graf, 1994) Philby, K., My Silent War (MacGibbon and Key, 1968) Prime, R., Time of Trial: The Personal Story Behind the Cheltenham Spy Scandal (Hodder and Stoughton, 1984) Prior, J., A Balance of Power (Hamish Hamilton, 1986) Putney, D.

 

pages: 889 words: 433,897

The Best of 2600: A Hacker Odyssey by Emmanuel Goldstein

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affirmative action, Apple II, call centre, don't be evil, Firefox, game design, Hacker Ethic, hiring and firing, information retrieval, late fees, license plate recognition, optical character recognition, packet switching, pirate software, place-making, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, RFID, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, spectrum auction, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telemarketer, Y2K

History has proven through the nuclear arms race, the Nixon administration, and other similar craziness that things that are possible are not necessarily a good idea. Surveillance societies have appeared in the not so recent past, and they were frightening indeed. Stalin’s Russia. Ceausescu’s Romania. Hoenecker’s East Germany. Perhaps the United States can avoid the mistakes made by the surveillance societies of the twentieth century. And perhaps J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI is also completely honest, professional, and incorruptible— just like Robert Hanssen. Vonage Broadband Security Risk (Spring, 2004) By Kevin T. Blakley As a 15-year security professional and Vonage phone-service user over the past six months, I have uncovered some serious security problems with its use and solutions to possible security risks for both business and home users. This broadband phone service, which saves the end user hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year on local toll and long distance charges, can pose certain vulnerabilities to your network.

The term “pirate” rather than “phreak” is used here because the vast majority of illegitimate CMT users (Cellular Mobile Telephone) are only interested in stealing airtime, while phone phreaks are mainly interested in learning more about the telephone network through its manipulation. The six-month FBI investigation used “cooperative sources” who named fraudulent installers; then FBI agents posing as customers and installers used standard entrapment techniques to gather evidence against those allegedly involved. The FBI’s press release statement that “recent technological advances in computerized telephone switching equipment and billing systems were instrumental in....(their investigation)” is deliberately misleading. New York cellular carrier NYNEX merely supplied the FBI with its billing data to document the use of bogus and stolen ESN’s & MIN’s (Electronic Serial Numbers and Mobile Identification Numbers) discovered in the investigation.

I called lvanhoe, who told me that Steve was visited that morning by three FBI and two Bell Security agents. Ten other people were also caught. The FBI woke all the boys up at 6:00 a.m. so they wouldn’t have a chance to warn friends. As soon as school was over, the Phreak called lvanhoe and told him all this. He waited an hour until it was 4:00 in Utah and called the Software Pirate, who called me. The news spread among phreaks and pirates so that anyone involved knew about it by dinnertime on the East Coast. Late that night, the White Knight set up what we thought was the last conference call. Ivanhoe, David, Demon Diode, and the Cracker all expected they would be caught. We called the Cracker and asked him to talk. “Why not?” he said dryly. “I’m just sitting here waiting for the FBI. I have nothing better to do.” They got him the next morning.

 

pages: 1,744 words: 458,385

The Defence of the Realm by Christopher Andrew

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anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Clive Stafford Smith, collective bargaining, credit crunch, cuban missile crisis, Desert Island Discs, Etonian, Fall of the Berlin Wall, glass ceiling, illegal immigration, job satisfaction, large denomination, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, Mahatma Gandhi, Mikhail Gorbachev, North Sea oil, Red Clydeside, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, Ronald Reagan, strikebreaker, Torches of Freedom, traveling salesman, union organizing, uranium enrichment, V2 rocket, Vladimir Vetrov: Farewell Dossier, Winter of Discontent

Their doubts dissolved when it was realized that Prime had been run not by case officers of the First Chief Directorate, which was responsible for most espionage operations, but by the Third Directorate, which was out of its depth with an agent of Prime’s importance.36 In the wake of Prime’s arrest, a Security Service brief for the Security Commission, which was also passed on to the Prime Minister, reviewed the forty-three cases since 1952 of British Soviet Bloc agents who had been convicted, had confessed or had defected. The brief concluded that sixteen had primarily mercenary motives, fourteen (including Prime)37 were ideological and ten had been recruited through ‘emotional blackmail’. Three Soviet agents (who, interestingly, included George Blake) were regarded as having ‘other’ motives. A majority of the most important cases, however, were ideological.38 The Service’s categorization of motives was arguably less satisfactory than the FBI MICE acronym (money, ideology, compromise, ego); ego, omitted in the Security Service analysis, has frequently been an important subsidiary motive in cases ranging from the Cambridge Five to the Americans Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen. In sixteen of the forty-three cases the main initial lead to detection had come from Service sources, eleven from defectors, eight from liaison and eight from other sources.39 By far the most serious counter-espionage case for the Security Service in the final decade of the Cold War began on Easter Sunday 1983 when Michael Bettaney, a heavy-drinking, disaffected officer in K4 (the department responsible for the investigation and analysis of Soviet London residencies), pushed through the letter-box in Holland Park of Arkadi Guk, the KGB resident, an envelope containing the case put by the Security Service for expelling three Soviet intelligence officers in the previous month, together with details of how all three had been detected.

On the morning of 12 July 1989 he looked out of his office window, saw two men tampering with his car and rushed downstairs to confront them. The men turned out to be FBI agents examining the car.64 A possibly over-dramatized account of what happened next was relayed to Head Office by SLO Washington. The FBI officer supervising the agents was reported to have been told by his field office: ‘Either you arrest the two FBI agents interfering with the car or you arrest Johnson.’ Having decided, without much difficulty, on the second option, the FBI officer was said to have informed Johnson, ‘Only in America do you interrupt two men breaking into your car and find that you are the one who is arrested!’65 Following the conviction of Johnson, Quigley, Reid and Hoy a year later, the FBI thanked the Service for its assistance in a prolonged investigation whose ‘successful prosecution in the US was dependent on an outstanding international cooperative effort’.66 ‘This success’, it believed, ‘has significantly damaged PIRA’s capability to produce new types of remote controlled bombs, and has completely disrupted a programme to develop anti-aircraft rockets.’67 The series of operational successes achieved by MI5 and the security forces against PIRA in the late 1980s did not, however, bring them within sight of victory.

In the course of the year it broke contact with him.134 By maintaining an HOW on letters to the Hamburg box number used by Draper to correspond with his case officer, the Security Service discovered that a Scottish hairdresser, Mrs Jessie Jordan, was being used by the Abwehr to forward correspondence to some of its foreign agents. In January 1938 an HOW on Jordan’s address led to the discovery of a letter from an Abwehr agent in the United States, codenamed CROWN, which contained details of a bizarre plot to chloroform and kidnap an American army colonel who had in his possession classified documents on US coastal defences. CROWN was identified as Guenther Rumrich, a twenty-sevenyear-old US army deserter, who was convicted with several of his accomplices in an Abwehr spy-ring at a highly publicized trial.135 As a result of US inter-agency confusion, others who had been indicted succeeded in escaping. J. Edgar Hoover, the FBI Director, and the prosecuting attorney blamed each other. The judge, to Hoover’s fury, blamed the FBI. Leon G. Turrou, the FBI special agent in charge of Rumrich’s interrogation, was so poorly briefed that he confused the Abwehr with the Gestapo.136 Though the Security Service was far better informed than the FBI, there were large gaps in its understanding of the organization of pre-war German intelligence.137 Possibly the largest was its lack of awareness of the Etappe Dienst naval network, eventually discovered as a result of German records captured in 1945.