[Cryptography] Early data mining efforts by the KGB defeated the CIA's efforts at blending in

iang iang at iang.org
Sun Nov 11 09:45:40 EST 2018


How to explain the KGB’s amazing success identifying CIA agents in the 
Paranoid CIA heads blamed Soviet moles, but the real reason for the 
repeated disasters was much simpler

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SEPTEMBER 26, 2015 2:45PM (UTC)
As the Cold War drew to a close with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 
November 1989, those at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, finally 
hoped to resolve many long-standing puzzles.

The most important of which was how officers in the field under 
diplomatic and deep cover stationed across the globe were readily 
identified by the KGB. As a consequence, covert operations had to be 
aborted as local agents were pinpointed and CIA personnel compromised 
or, indeed, had their lives thrown into jeopardy.

The problem dated from the mid-'70s, the very time that James Angleton, 
the paranoid head of agency counterintelligence, was at last ushered out 
of office, to the relief of conscientious officers hitherto cast under a 
dark cloud of suspicion, their promotion delayed or, worse still, 
denied, and in some cases entire careers wrecked.

But could Angleton have been right? Some consistently maintained so, 
notably the late Bruce Bagley. Their argument was simple. How could 
these disasters have happened with such regularity if the agency had not 
been penetrated by Soviet moles?


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