Tags: spy | cyberweapons | trump | secrets

NYT: US Spies Paid Russian for Stolen NSA Cyberweapons, Trump Secrets

Image: NYT: US Spies Paid Russian for Stolen NSA Cyberweapons, Trump Secrets
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By    |   Friday, 09 Feb 2018 11:17 PM

A shadowy unnamed Russian bilked American spies out of $100,000 in a deal intended to deliver cyberweapons stolen from the National Security Agency (NSA) that was also to include compromising material about President Donald Trump, The New York Times reported Friday.

The cash was delivered to a Berlin hotel in a suitcase and was to be the first installment in a $1 million deal that had been dropped from the Russian's original asking price of $10 million, unnamed American officials said. It is unclear what funds were used to make the $100,000 payment, the article explained.

The Russian claimed to have information including computer code stolen from the NSA and CIA. American intelligence officials said they made clear they were not interested in the information about Trump, wanting instead the cyberweapons the NSA had been desperate to retrieve.

The NSA hacking tools had been built to break into computer systems in rival countries including Russia and China. They have since fallen into the hands of a group calling itself Shadow Brokers, which has shared the information with hackers who have infected millions of computers worldwide.

The deal with the American spies and the Russian fell apart for several reasons. The first thumb drive the Russian turned over included data from the Shadow Brokers, but was information already available publicly. Subsequent information the Russian handed over was related to the 2016 presidential election and alleged ties of Trump associates with Russia.

The American spies were reluctant to continue to pursue information about Trump from the Russian for fear of political fallout in Washington, the Times explained. The CIA declined to comment on information about the negotiations with the Russian. The NSA only said "all N.S.A. employees have a lifetime obligation to protect classified information."

U.S officials worked through an intermediary based in Germany, referred to in the Times' article as "an American businessman" or "the American." Last year U.S. intelligence officials conducted "meetings in provincial German towns," "data handoffs in five-star Berlin hotels" and even sent coded messages to the Russian via Twitter.

After much ado with the Russian, it became apparent to the American spies he had little to offer in the way of the bona fide cyberweapons the officials hoped to retrieve. They were left with material that was either drawn from news reports or had questionable validity about Trump. The material about Trump currently has been "left with the American, who has secured it in Europe," the Times explained.

After giving the Russian multiple chances to provide material, he continued to offer excuses about providing data about cyberweapons, purportedly on orders of senior Russian intelligence officials.

Running low on patience, this year the "American businessman" said the American spies chased "the Russian out of Western Europe, warning him not to return if he valued his freedom," the article concluded.

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A shadowy unnamed Russian bilked American spies out of $100,000 in a deal intended to deliver cyberweapons stolen from the National Security Agency (NSA) that was also to include compromising material about President Donald Trump, The New York Times reported Friday.
spy, cyberweapons, trump, secrets
471
2018-17-09
Friday, 09 Feb 2018 11:17 PM
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