Posts Tagged ‘russian spies’
In June of 2010 the FBI publicized the arrests of ten individuals who had been working as covert agents for the Russian government. Although the nature of any sensitive information passed to their Russian handlers remains unclear to the public (as does their ability to even gain access sensitive or classified government information), what is known are the communication methodologies that the spies utilized with their associates, as well as the mistakes they made that blew the cover of their operation.
Commentators have criticized the spies’ apparent carelessness and lack of precautionary measures taken to remain off the FBI’s radar. ABC News ran a story quoting ex-KGB members who called the spy ring “laughable amateurs”. Arstechnica calls them “dumb”; Slate calls them “dopes”. However, the fact remains that that U.S. authorities only discovered the spy network as a result of a tip-off received from a Russian traitor. Had the traitor (named as Alexander Poteyev) not alerted the FBI about the spies’ activities, it’s likely that they would still be in operation today.
Nevertheless, what interests me from an ethical hacking standpoint is 1) how the spies operated and passed information and 2) what they did or neglected to do that blew their cover.