The FBI's case against an alleged deep cover Russian spy ring relies heavily on surveillance of their use of ad hoc Wi-Fi networks, bespoke software, encryption and the web. After a counter-espionage operation lasting several years, 10 people were accused on Monday of being covert agents of the SVR, Russia's foreign intelligence …
You can't lock her up, she's GORGEOUS!
From a neighbour:
"They can't be spies, just look at what she did with the hydrangeas!"
Mine's the one with the Miracle Gro in one pocket and the invisible ink in the other
why she should be locked up! Tight!
That dress looks familiar....
...I think Rachel Riley from Countdown has one just like it - I wonder if she's a spy too?
Compare and contrast
facebook makes intel a bit easy
you can't make this up, look at some of her facebook wall: if that's not a code then I've not being reading enough LeCarre thrillers.
"Anna Chapman The moon is amazing tonight in new york
29 April at 01:46 via Mobile Web"
Anyone else think she looks like Carrie Fisher (back in the day)?
Or maybe just illegals!
In the years between the collapse of communism and the realisation that Russian has something the US might want (Duh! Oil), lots of Russians found imaginative ways of skipping grinding poverty.. especially the pretty ones.
Ask an average Mexican illegal if they’d spy for Mexico and you’d get the same response.. come to think of it.. ask the average Sex-in-the-City wanabe if they’d do someing more dangerous than causal sex…
Isn’t this just Heisenberg Uncertainty principle.. or maybe the spooks are up to something else completely
ask the average Sex-in-the-City wanabe if they’d do someing more dangerous than causal sex…
**gasp** you mean non-causal? ie: sex without a cause?!
More like Jenna Fischer
I thought only the hot spy chicks were in Bond movies.
Wonder if MI6 are recruiting...
Carrie Fisher as a Redhead
But I'm thinking Erin Grey (Buck Rogers in the 25th Century for the PFY's in the audience) as a Brunette.
Indeed - "Colonel Wilma" - this and Flash Gordon (the one with the washing up liquid bottles covered in silver foil with fireworks tied to the back) were my favourites....
this is going back a bit
But one of the SciFi shows around that time had an episode with Larry Crabbe (the original Buck Rogers from the washing up liquid bottle and fireworks days) as a guest star. Logically it would have been Buck Rogers but could have been Battlestar Galactica.
Yes it is *very* sad that I can still recall stuff like this. I shall take my anorak down the pub. I may be gone for some time.
In all I have heard and read about this young woman, she certainly appears to be very attractive, wealth-motivated, and not a little vain (with a remarkable talent for embellishing the truth) but I fail to see how that makes her 'saucy'.
Is this just an El Reg thing - as in, "She's a young woman therefore she must be 'saucy'"? I assume Vicky Peláez isn't 'saucy' - for reasons that arise from an equally honourable chain of logic?
I'm almost tempted to apply a Paris icon to this comment, with a message to the effect of "Paris, because I gather that she's a woman, too", but having never used a Paris icon, yet, I'd hate to break a winning run.
I expect they think she's saucy because she's a wee ride and she clearly knows it!
Ahhh, looks like someone should have gone to Defcon
Ad-hoc wifi? That's almost as bad as using signal flags - no regular humans use it, so it would stand out pretty obviously.
And not using something along the lines of macchanger? Even in Windows you can generally change your MAC address trivially.
And then there are about 9000 more covert ways to communicate with wifi - how about you get some Apple laptops, and craft custom MDNS/Bonjour packets to encode your data over a standard public hotspot. Any given Apple device spews those packets continually to the local broadcast address - nobody knows the intended destination!
Or how about you get Windows machines and encode information in wifi probe request packets, which the average Windows laptop also spews constantly when not connected to a network.
And yes, I hope that the feds were using Kismet... but I wouldn't be surprised if they were trying to pull this sort of thing off using Windows.
Probably as their outsourcing firm CSC would only allow them to use windows OS for programming (remember windows for battleships debacle) :-)
Guy jumps bail
Just a quick update, I'm from Cyprus and on the latest evening news the guy has jumped bail (which was expected) and the police have issued an arrest warrant.
My guess is that he's either sought refuge in the RU embassy (which is right across the street from the US embassy by the way) or trying to escape through the occupied north.
"What do you mean he's gone?"
Some people from the local US embassy are probably updating their CVs now.
If he has gone north, it will be interesting to see if Turkey (as big mates of the USA) go out of their way to find him.
Spy lady can access my restricted area anytime.
Serves them right...
... for not spoofing their MAC addresses.
I know this has been pointed out previously, but seriously. Using the same MAC address constantly is a dead giveaway.
Everyone knows a half decent spy will use Linux.
Looks like Cyprus did well...
Letting that guy out on bail may have been a superb idea! According to the world service, he's already disappeared. Ooops!
Those sounding surprised that spies may be surprisingly lax in security should read some spy history. Kim Philby sent reports by post to a safe-house in Paris. He was over there one day and decided to take a look at the place (already poor trade craft). To his shock, it turned out to be the Soviet embassy! The KGB were too cheap to rent somewhere, even for one of their best ever agents.
poof! he's gone
According to a CBC news article our 11th man in Cypress has gone missing. Apparently he didn't show up for his appointment. How shocking.
What - he was up a tree?
It seems that redhair is a spook requirement.
"It has also been reported that Metsos spent his time on the island before being arrested with an attractive, red-headed lady. The receptionist at the Atrium Zenon hotel apartments where he was initially staying said the two acted like any tourist couple, mostly going to the beach."
And in true Bond fashion, maybe there was a Russian submarine off the coast as well involving clandestine underwater intelligence exchanges. (along with obligatory scuba-spear gun fights)
Russian girls often use Henna as hair colouring - hence the popularity of that red colour. You may also have noticed that Anna Chapman was also blond in one of the popular photos from her Facebook pages.
BTW A few people seem confused about her surname. The big surprise is that she changed her name when she got married (apparently to an English guy) - her maiden name was Kuschenko. As for the first name, the transliteration of Russian into English or other non-Cyrillic languages tends to leave some flexibility about the exact spelling - hence Anna, Anja, Anya, etc.
How did they get the informations in the first place
Would love to know that too ;)
Perhaps this 'gang' were all decoys. It's a simple enough process - get the FBI to waste all its time and resources on a bunch of apparently hopeless spies, in the hope that they don't notice the real spies operating under their noses...
It's a similar method to that used by Nicholas Owen, the priest hold builder back in the days when English Catholics were persecuted. First, you build a 'fake' priest hole, which is cleverly concealed but also 'safe' to discover. The searchers would find it, open it up, find no-one there, and continue on their way. But unbeknown to them, this priest hole concealed the entrance to another... For example: a fake fireplace in a room. Investigators would notice the fireplace without a fire or chimney, so climb up it into the attic, where they would (hopefully) fail to notice the attic had a fake end wall...
There was even one case of a double decker priest hole - where a real (but low-priority?) priest was hidden fairly well but the real prize (a King IIRC) was in another priest hole underneath his.
Not sure I could ever be that selfless...
Wot - no flame wars?
"....the new machine was needed "due to [Zottoli's] laptop "hanging"/"freezing" ..."
and not single comment about "....should have been running Ubuntu 15.6 Secret Squirrel...." or " ...wouldn't have happened on the Apple i-spi..."
Are you sure the comments pages haven't been hacked?
stupid spy did not notice google streetviewcar
""a commercially available tool that can detect the presence of wireless networks""
you would think the cameras and logo would warn them
red in bed
phhhhwwwwwoaaarr, she can make an ad hoc connection with my dongle any time she likeski
OMG thery are coming for me!
ad hoc Wi-Fi networks - I do that at times!
bespoke software - Windows XP and Ubuntu
encryption - HTTPS ! Thats me
and the web - Opera or Firefox.
I had best write my farewells to the wife.
A serious subject reduced to titilation
Now look here, el Reg. It would have been perfectly possible to report the story without demeaning references to the physical appearance of one of the spies in question. Nothing in the story depends upon her comliness, or even her gender at all. It is completely irrelevant to the facts.
But I would not have missed it for the world. Phoarr. Keep it up, lads!
clearing up some misunderstandings
Need to clear up a few misconceptions people have. Not going to bother to list the poster's id's.
1) Use of USB stick
Pointless. The whole point about the exchanges that took place between the agent and her handler are that it was intended to be non contact based.
A USB stick would have required very close interaction (physical proximity) between the two parties or exchanged in the form of a dead letter drop.
WiFi is a great way to exchange the information at a distance.
2) Use of an adhoc wifi network didn't catch them, didn't cause them to be caught.
Wifi is very limited range.
They must have been on the radar (watch list) of the FBI first, and then having suspicions, intel on them already, then go to the coffeshop with a wifi -sniffer.
Not spoofing MAC address's wasn't the cause of them being caught, it just helped make things easier for the FBI and helps build a stronger case by demonstrating that it was the same two people (or laptops) that repeatedly set the network up.
3)Encryption over Wifi
Wasn't particularly necessary, as it's such short range and time duration was very limited: it was an adhoc wifi. Highly unlikely anyone would have tried to connect to it, highly unlikely anyone would have been running packet sniffers in the coffeeshop or within the vicinity of it - except the spooks.
Using technology (and not taking sufficient precautions) in this instance was't the cause of the people being caught..they must have been under investigation already by the FBI.
"Guilty unless proven otherwise" -tactics by FBI
"On nearly every occassion the FBI observed the same two MAC addresses communicating via ad hoc Wi-Fi."
No shit? Not a word about amount or quality of so called communication while some of us know that any windows-machine put in any network broadcasts several times in a second and all machines which hear, respond. That's "communication" as FBI tells us, but totally automatic and no data to user level is exchanged.
Standard FBI word play where they can't prove anything but have to publish results due the political pressure. Just like Soviet Union: We suspect you thus you are guilty, we are not suspecting innocent people.
Put the witch on the ducking stool
I was listening to this on the car radio (broadcast by a commercial radio station, nothing sinister) going home yesterday and they had this snippet from Chapman’s arraignment.
She had been give a fake passport by an FBI undercover agent, and told to deliver the passport to somebody; instead she went to the police and handed over the passport to the police.
This, the prosecution claimed, was proof she was a spy, as she only handed over the passport to the police to try and prove she was not a spy. Presumably if she had delivered the passport to where she was supposed to deliver it would have also proved she was a spy.
BB would be proud of logic like that
Of course the other shocking news to come out of this story is that someone exaggerated their work experience on their CV (resume to 'merkins).
Biting The Hand That Feeds .....
Damn, where were you with your tech advices when ruspies needed you so much.
More int'l advertising for theregister.co.uk 's forum, please.
At least, not every Russian agrees to work for uspres.
The 11th man
looks a bit older than the rest of this bunch.
*If* he really is some kind of intelligence officer (IO's are *employees* who get a payslip, agents are recruited. Might get paid, might not, might believe in the cause, might be being black mailed. Like the Mafia, if the fecal matter hits the air distribution system and you're not a made man it's a case of good bye and good luck). He looks like someone from the old school with a backup passport and a bag of cash handy just in case.
BTW What happened to the cell system with no one knowing more than 2 others? On the arrest total there are nearly 4 cells here. Given they *should* be completely separate the only ways the FBI could have bagged them all would be through their comms or an informer on the inside. That is the conspiracy view.
Unless of course their security was so bad they all knew/met/ hung out together. This is the cockup theory.
Of course then there is the *really* paranoid conspiracy theory.
They are all *innocent* and this is either a US provocation (by a faction hostile to improved relations) to annoy the Russians or a Russian provocation (by a faction in Russia) to annoy the White House.
Mine will be the one with "The Tears of Autumn" in the side pocket.
Re: Bond Girls
> Wonder if MI6 are recruiting...
Do remember not to tell everyone you're applying.
We have two friends from the Ukraine and they communicate in Russian. I've started talking to them in spoof spy language. e.g.
"I hear the dolphins in the Carribean have thicker skin than those in the Adriatic."
I have to say, they're fundamentally finding it unhilarious.
Budapest is not in the Eastern Block, BTW
It all sounds very Cold War, doesn't it.
Am I in some kind of a time warp?
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