Russian spy ring needed some serious IT help

Russian spy ring needed some serious IT help
Russian spy ring needed some serious IT help 

By Tim Greene
Network World
June 30, 2010 

The Russian ring charged this week with spying on the United States 
faced some of the common security problems that plague many companies -- 
misconfigured wireless networks, users writing passwords on slips of 
paper and laptop help desk issues that take months to resolve.

In addition, the alleged conspirators used a range of technologies to 
pass data among themselves and back to their handlers in Moscow 
including PC-to-PC open wireless networking and digital steganography to 
hide messages and retrieve them from images on Web sites.

They also employed more traditional methods including invisible ink, 
Morse Code and ciphers, according to assertions made by federal agents 
in court papers seeking arrest warrants for the suspected spies.

One of the most glaring errors made by one of the spy defendants was 
leaving an imposing 27-character password written on a piece of paper 
that law enforcement officers found while searching a suspect's home. 
They used the password to crack open a treasure trove of more than 100 
text files containing covert messages used to further the investigation.


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