Sunday, August 5, 2018

This Week in Spy News

US - The July arrest and indictment of Maria Butina, a 29-year-old Russian woman accused of being a spy, sent shockwaves through Washington and left the political world wondering where she had come from. Her Instagram page showed a glimpse of what her life looked like in Russia while she was allegedly "laying the groundwork" to move to the United States and conduct high-level espionage on behalf of the Russian government. more

UK- SPY chiefs are to develop futuristic technology that will predict when and where terrorist attacks will take place. They are pumping millions into a project called “Unblinking Eye” to identify and keep watch on people who pose a security threat. A new cutting-edge system will monitor and analyse human behaviour and help security services act before an outrage is committed. It mirrors the sci-fi movie Minority Report, starring Tom Cruise, where cops use psychic technology to arrest murderers before they strike. more

US - A suspected Russian spy was employed for more than a decade at the US Embassy in Moscow before being fired last year, a senior administration official tells CNN. The woman, a Russian national, worked for the US Secret Service for years before she came under suspicion during one of the State Department regional security office's routine security reviews in 2016, the official said. The security office found the woman was having regular, unauthorized meetings with the Russian intelligence service, the FSB. more

US - Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s office was infiltrated by a Chinese spy who worked as her driver and attended official functions on her behalf for 20 years, according to new reports from Politico and The San Francisco Chronicle.

USB Memory Security - Hand GrenadeUS - An engineer employed by General Electric Co. was arrested by the FBI and charged with using sophisticated techniques to steal digital files on the company's turbine technology to benefit his interest in Chinese companies that compete with GE... The federal criminal complaint says that in 2014, Zheng "downloaded more than 19,000 files from GE's computer network onto an external storage device, believed by GE investigators to have been a personal thumb drive." Federal authorities said that Zheng is a U.S. citizen and also holds citizenship in China. more

S. Korea - The country is in the grip of what's been described as a spy camera epidemic. Hidden cameras capture women - and sometimes men - undressing, going to the toilet, or even in changing rooms in clothing stores, gyms and swimming pools. The videos are posted online on pop-up pornography sites. Activists in Seoul now warn that unless more is done to prevent it, this type of crime is likely to spread to other countries and will prove difficult to stop. more (Too late. It already has.)

US - A local handyman has been charged with spying on his customers’ personal lives by installing hidden cameras in homes where he had done work. Alton police arrested Peter Mugford and charged him with five felony counts of unlawful wiretapping, two counts of burglary, violation of privacy, and stalking... Mugford allegedly used his profession as a contractor/handyman to get access to client homes and place hidden cameras in bedrooms, bathrooms, and other private areas of the home. Mugford would then return to the homes without the owners knowledge or consent to retrieve cameras and footage. more

...and The Hollywood Reports submits its Top 10 Best Spy Comedies list. See if you concur. My pick for #1 is Top Secret.