espionage

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After 30 Years Behind Bars, Spy Is Now 'Home'

Jonathan Pollard, ex-analyst for US Navy, has been granted citizenship in Israel

(Newser) - Jonathan Pollard, who spent 30 years in US prison for spying for Israel, arrived in Israel early Wednesday with his wife, triumphantly kissing the ground as he disembarked from the aircraft. "We are ecstatic to be home at last after 35 years," Pollard said as he was greeted...

Treasury, Commerce Hit by Hackers in Monthslong Breach

'Unacceptable risk' to government tied back to hugely popular server software

(Newser) - US government agencies were ordered to scour their networks for malware and disconnect potentially compromised servers after authorities learned the Treasury and Commerce departments were hacked in a monthslong global cyberespionage campaign, discovered when a prominent cybersecurity firm learned it had been breached. In a rare emergency directive issued late...

Report: Chinese Spy Slept With 2 Midwest Mayors

Axios investigation uncovers alleged espionage of woman based in Bay Area

(Newser) - Axios is out Tuesday with the results of a yearlong investigation that makes some big claims about Chinese espionage tactics. The story by Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian focuses on a young woman identified as Christine Fang, or Fang Fang, who established herself as a presence in Bay Area politics, first as...

Ever Wanted a KGB-Era Lipstick Gun? Now's Your Chance

NYC museum dedicated to Cold War espionage shuts down for good

(Newser) - What's been billed as the world's largest collection of KGB memorabilia has been on display in Manhattan for nearly two years, the labor of love of a Lithuanian collector who wanted to share with the world these 3,500 or so remnants of the Cold War. Now, per...

Assange Outburst Leads to 'Clear Warning' From Judge

WikiLeaks founder on thin ice after shouting during witness testimony in London courtroom

(Newser) - A judge threatened to have Julian Assange thrown from the London courtroom where he's fighting extradition to the US from Britain on Tuesday after he shouted from the dock during witness testimony. "If you interrupt proceedings and disrupt a witness who is properly giving their evidence, it is...

US: Former Green Beret Sold Out His Country

Peter Rafael Dzibinksi Debbins is accused of sharing secrets with Russian operatives

(Newser) - A former Green Beret was collared Friday and accused of conspiring with Russian intelligence agents for over 15 years, the Hill reports. Peter Rafael Dzibinksi Debbins, 45, allegedly gave operatives of the GRU—Russia's foreign intelligence agency—sensitive information between 1996 and 2011. That included "details of his...

Rubio: Chinese Consulate Was a 'Massive Spy Center'

State-run newspaper runs poll on which US consulate Beijing should close

(Newser) - The Chinese consulate in Houston was a "massive spy center," lawmakers say—and the fact that officials were seen burning documents at the Texas facility after the government ordered it to close seems to confirm it. The Houston Fire Department, which was praised by Chinese officials after putting...

Russia Sentences American to 16 Years in Prison

Former Marine Paul Whelan convicted of spying

(Newser) - A former US Marine just got handed a 16-year prison sentence in Russia for spying. Paul Whelan , 50, insists he's innocent and was set up in a bogus sting operation, reports the BBC . On Monday, he held a sign in court reading "sham trial!" Whelan was arrested...

Newly Uncovered Atomic Spy May Have Been Key for Soviets

Newly released files suggested Los Alamos mole turned over important advances

(Newser) - Given the secrecy around the Manhattan Project in the 1940s, American scientists and historians have never been sure how the Soviet Union managed to join the atomic age as early as it did. Four years after the US set off the first atomic bomb, the Soviets detonated a similar one....

Report: Chinese Diplomats Entered Base, Claimed They Were 'Lost'

Beijing didn't retaliate after they were kicked out of US

(Newser) - The Chinese and American governments have declined to comment, but insiders say two Chinese diplomats were kicked out of the US this fall after entering a sensitive military installation and claiming it was an innocent mistake. Sources tell the New York Times that the officials and their wives drove to...

After 3 Years in Iran, 'Another American Is Coming Home'

Princeton grad student Xiyue Wang, 38, released as part of prisoner exchange

(Newser) - "Another American is coming home." That was the early Saturday tweet from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, with good news for the family of Xiyue Wang, the Chinese American graduate student who's been held prisoner in Iran for more than three years. CNN and NBC News report...

'He Handed Them the Formula for the A-Bomb'

Oscar Seborer was part of a family of spies

(Newser) - Three Soviet spies were at Los Alamos during World War II, stealing atomic secrets—that we know. Now the CIA journal Studies in Intelligence reports on Oscar Seborer, a fourth, previously unknown figure who may have "handed" Soviets the A-bomb formula before defecting to the USSR. Born in New...

FBI Warns Colleges About Chinese Students

US authorities worry about the wholesale theft of technology and trade secrets

(Newser) - As the US warned allies around the world that Chinese tech giant Huawei was a security threat, the FBI was making the same point quietly to a Midwestern university. In an email to the associate vice chancellor for research at the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign, an agent wanted to know if...

Neighbor: 'I Can't Believe Ed Was a Chinese Spy!'

California tour operator charged with being an illegal foreign agent

(Newser) - A California tour operator charged by US officials with illegally ferrying information to China was a quiet and friendly man with a taste for luxury cars, a neighbor said. Xuehua Edward Peng, 56, of Hayward was charged in documents unsealed Monday with being an illegal foreign agent and delivering classified...

Report: CIA's Kremlin Asset Was Recruited Decades Ago

Sources say he rejected first extraction offer

(Newser) - A high-level CIA informant "exfiltrated" from Russia to the US in 2017 had been an American intelligence asset for decades, sources tell the New York Times —and he rejected an earlier attempt to get him out of the country. The sources say the informant—who was recruited long...

Former CIA Officer Admits Spying for China

Jerry Chun Shing Lee was paid to provide info on covert agents

(Newser) - A former CIA agent suspected of being the mole who helped bring down the network's operations in China early this decade has pleaded guilty to spying for Beijing. Prosecutors say that after Jerry Chun Shing Lee, 54, left the US to live in Hong Kong in 2007, China paid...

Putin: 'It's an Outrage'

Russian leader speaks out against Maria Butina's prison sentence

(Newser) - One person isn't too thrilled with a Russian operative's prison sentence : Vladimir Putin. "It's an outrage," he said Saturday of Maria Butina's 18-month sentence, per the Guardian . "It's not clear what she was convicted of or what crime she committed. I think...

Mar-a-Lago Crasher Had Devices in Room: Prosecutors

Judge was asked to keep Chinese woman in custody

(Newser) - A signal detector, nine USB drives, and five SIM cards for mobile phones—that's what prosecutors say authorities found in the hotel room of the woman who was arrested on the grounds of President Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort last month. Yujing Zhang was in court in Florida for a...

FBI Opens Mar-a-Lago Probe

The arrest of a Chinese woman set things in motion

(Newser) - Federal officials are looking into whether a Chinese woman arrested at President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago club with a device containing computer malware was part of a larger effort to gain access to the president and do potential harm. That's according to a US official who spoke to the...

Arrest of Chinese Woman Raises Security Fears at Mar-a-Lago

Secret Service says she was carrying malware

(Newser) - Serious questions are being asked about security at President Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort after the arrest of a Chinese woman who was carrying a thumb drive with "malicious malware." According to court documents, Yujing Zhang told security officials Saturday she was a member who wanted to use the...

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