kinda weird to fire your Secret Service director mere days after the Secret Service caught a probable spy at your private bribery mill!
— Zeddediah Springfield (@Zeddary) April 8, 2019
— Chris Wysopal (@WeldPond) April 8, 2019
Not a cybersecurity expert, but seems like that’s hardly best practice?
A federal prosecutor argued in court Monday that Yujing Zhang, the Chinese woman arrested trying to enter President Donald Trump’s private Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach last month, “lies to everyone she encounters” and said a search of her hotel room uncovered more than $8,000 in cash, as well as a “signal-detector” device used to reveal hidden cameras.
Also uncovered in the search: $7,500 in U.S. hundred-dollar bills and $663 in Chinese currency, in addition to nine USB drives, five SIM cards and other electronics, according to federal prosecutor Rolando Garcia. Signal detectors are portable devices that can detect radio waves, magnetic fields and hidden-camera equipment.
Prosecutors are treating the case as a national-security matter and an FBI counterintelligence squad is investigating, sources familiar with the inquiry told the Miami Herald.
Zhang gave conflicting accounts of why she came to Mar-a-Lago on March 30, at one point saying she had been invited to attend a social event, according to an affidavit filed by a U.S. Secret Service agent. But she was found to be carrying several electronic devices, including a thumb-drive containing “malicious malware,” the Secret Service said. That raised suspicions among federal investigators already probing possible Chinese intelligence operations in South Florida that she could be engaged in espionage…
Investigators are still trying to determine the nature of the malware Zhang allegedly brought into the club, sources told the Herald. It is not clear how much of a threat the malware posed and whether it was intended to gather information at the president’s club or possibly to destroy an existing network or program, they said.
Secret Service agent Samuel Ivanovich, who interviewed Zhang on the day of her arrest, testified at the hearing. He stated that when another agent put Zhang’s thumb-drive into his computer, it immediately began to install files, a “very out-of-the-ordinary” event that he had never seen happen before during this kind of analysis. The agent had to immediately stop the analysis to halt any further corruption of his computer, Ivanovich testified. The analysis is ongoing but still inconclusive, he said…
The agent said he conducted a four-and-a-half hour interview with Zhang at the Secret Service office in West Palm Beach. There was only video but no audio recording because Ivanovich said he did not realize the audio was not working.
Congressional Democrats have called for a counterintelligence investigation into Yang, whose activities have generated national scrutiny.
As it turned out, the FBI has been investigating possible Chinese espionage operations in South Florida since late last year, sources with knowledge of the inquiry exclusively told the Herald. Zhang’s arrest has sent the counterintelligence probe into overdrive. The FBI Counterintelligence Division in South Florida is also now examining the activities of Yang. The investigation had originally focused on other Chinese nationals doing business in South Florida or traveling to the region. (In February, a Chinese student was sentenced to one year in prison after he was caught taking photos and videos at the U.S. Naval Air Station in Key West.)
A spokeswoman for Yang said she has done nothing wrong, has not been contacted by federal authorities and did not know Zhang, the alleged Mar-a-Lago intruder.
Trump was in South Florida during the security breach but was golfing away from Mar-a-Lago. Last week he called the incident a “fluke.”…
Zhang’s arraignment — where prosecutors will present the charges against her — is scheduled for Monday, April 15.
After a would-be spy was caught onsite, Trump needs a scapegoat for the very predictable outcome of his utterly irresponsible trips to Mar a Lago as president.
Looks like he found one. https://t.co/Iz3YnnK733
— The Hoarse Whisperer (@HoarseWisperer) April 8, 2019
Or then again, maybe it’s related to the Trump Occupation’s other breaking-news national security fvckup…
The official says Alles was told that the president was preparing to make changes in leadership throughout DHS; the Secret Service is one component of the dept.
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) April 8, 2019