According to the BBC the 11th person has been arrested in Cyprus.
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 …
In the same way that we can ask for the arrest of somebody who has committed a serious crime here and then left the country, so can the Americans.
Achieving extradition is another matter entirely because evidence will have to be presented to show sufficient proof that this person would be charged with a crime. Unless of course you are subject to our wonderful, balanced 'agreement' with the Yanks, or the extradition is between EEC member states. In either case it would appear that extradition is all too easy and without sufficient safeguards in place.
It does sound completely daft giving this guy bail though. There can be few people more capable of getting out of the country after having their passport confiscated than a spy. And if there is any truth to the allegations (which seem fairly substantive) then you can also imagine that the Russians will be keen to ensure that he is nowhere to be found. Or they might be happy for him to be found once they've arranged for him to stop breathing.
"In the same way that we can ask for the arrest of somebody who has committed a serious crime here and then left the country, so can the Americans". What serious crime is this? None of them have been charged with espionage, only being "unregistered representatives of a foreign government", which is not even an offence in most countries; if the Americans choose to make it so that is their privilege but they shouldn't expect anyone else to humour them. ("Espionage" is generally not an extradictable offence either, but we'll let that pass.)
It's simply a trumped up load of propaganda. If I followed US politics I would probably be able to identify the domestic news story that this has been released to distract public attention from. Maybe the ten-thousandth death in Afghanistan or something.
Maybe the Americans asked friendly nations to detain him on the basis that he is wanted in the USA. Cyprus would probably expect similar cooperation in the event that they wished to catch someone who had broken their laws and then left the island. Ronnie Biggs went to Brazil precisely because they had no extradition agreement with the UK.
It's a shame when one country gets to decide its national interests are important to everyone.
Not that I condone what Ronnie Biggs did -- but at least, unlike a lot of other criminals, we didn't have to pay to keep him here. Is it cheaper to jail someone for life than to let them get away with it?
I should have mentioned @jake below that the spook motto "Never judge a book by its cover" has been co-opted by the Tabloids - "Never judge a News Organization by tits, covered."
Nice work El Reg setting everyone straight, if you will pardon the expression, well half of us, oh never mind.
1) Can that agent that is pictured please be my honeytrap?
No - she was already assigned to another guy but will now likely spend some years in the company of other women. There are others in Russia though but it may be best to avoid those wanting a career in espionage.
2) This is a little more James Bond than the usual spy guff. Where do I sign up and see point 1.
You did notice they all got caught, didn't you?
in this case the obvious is less obvious.
If some super encrypted non standard ad-hoc Wi-Fi network popped up every time two people get within 200 ft of each other it would stand out like a nuke at midnight.
However, using a USB Wi-Fi dongle for this, and only this, application would have been a better plan, or at least changing the MAC to a random/different value for the "secret" communications and then resetting it when done to avoid this kind of tracking. Using a one time MAC address predetermined according to a cipher key from another communications channel, like a FaceBook status message or other chat forum with a set of keywords and then the pass phrase would be even better.
Remember, the really smart ones never get caught.
Mine's the one with the USB dongle in the pocket. Hurry please, I need to get a cup of coffee in 20 minutes.
Though you would need to be clever as the first 3 octets in the address uniquely ID the manufacturer of the NIC (as they are issued in blocks like IPs). So to be plausible you would only want to change to trailing octets otherwise mister counterspy who can see who makes your laptop will know something fishy is up.
So much work for nothing: the ruskies could have just offered chocolate bars to the administration staff who work for the target company or departments and they'd have gladly given them their passwords. Simples.
They were a bit lack in their procedures though. If the laptop was configured as a standard vanilla windows system, it would have been open to the world and that's an easy defence of "I had no idea what windows was doing". The contact taking the info should have used a different MAC address rather than a fixed one or just passively recorded to the communications rather than establishing a connection. Amateurs.
So now we know what google was doing with their street-view wi-fi spy scanning global network!
But it's not so strange. It was only for buying a phone, I put down stuff like that all the time. Still it's probably not a great idea if you're trying to keep a low profile.
Though it also occurs to me that the clerk could have put that in after she declined to provide an address.
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