Confessed Spy Convicted of Exporting U.S. Crypto Gear to China

Confessed Spy Convicted of Exporting U.S. Crypto Gear to China
Confessed Spy Convicted of Exporting U.S. Crypto Gear to China 

By Kevin Poulsen 
Threat Level
May 13, 2010

A Chinese national was convicted this week of smuggling and other 
charges over his efforts to acquire sensitive military and 
NSA-encryption gear from eBay and other internet sources.

Chi Tong Kuok, of Macau, told Defense Department and Customs 
investigators that he had been "acting at the direction of officials for 
the People's Republic of China, "according to a government affidavit in 
the case. "Kuok indicated he and PRC officials sought the items to 
figure out ways to listen to or monitor U.S. government and military 

Kuok was arrested at the Atlanta International Airport last year en 
route from Paris to Panama, where he planned to meet an undercover 
federal agent he believed was going to provide him with military radios. 
He was transferred to California and indicted (.pdf) for money 
laundering, conspiracy, smuggling and one count of attempting to export 
a defense article without a license. On Tuesday, a jury convicted him on 
all counts.

The U.S. began investigating Kuok in December 2006, when, using the 
first of many aliases, the man e-mailed a contact in the defense 
industry in search of software for a VDC-300 airborne data controller, 
used for secure satellite communications from American military 

The contact referred Kuok to an undercover agent in San Diego, who began 
negotiating with Kuok over a shopping list of military technology that 
eventually grew to at least 43 different items, ranging from a GPS 
receiver with anti-spoofing defenses, to the NSA-developed AN/CYZ-10 
crypto key management device.

Kuok repeatedly expressed fears that he might be dealing with an NSA, 
CIA or FBI agent, but continued to negotiate with the undercover 
officer, even cautioning him to avoid referencing the items by model 
number in e-mail, because "your country has this system to analyze" 
e-mail for keywords.


Best Selling Security Books and More!
Shop InfoSec News 

Site design & layout copyright © 1986-2014 CodeGods