Tue Apr 9, 2019, 12:24 AM

Techies Snicker at Secret Service Agents Mar-a-Lago Malware

An agent stuck one of the USB drives from an unannounced Chinese national’s electronics stash into his agency computer, infecting it—and prompting widespread derision.

Kevin Poulsen
04.08.19 8:16 PM ET

A Secret Service agent investigating Yujing Zhang’s visit to Mar-a-Lago infected one of the agency’s own computers with the malware carried in by the unannounced Chinese national, a move that provoked wide derision Monday from computer security professionals.

“You don’t put an unknown USB into your computer,” said Chris Wysopal, chief technology officer at Veracode. “That’s in all the training everyone gets, even in your dumb corporate training. You even tell your mom that.”

Wysopal’s tweet highlighting the apparent gaffe earned more than 3,000 retweets Monday, as the computer security community executed a collective face-palm. “Whoa! Never seen that USB execution thing before!” quipped Kaspersky researcher Kurt Baumgartner. “Sounds like an agent trying to crack the case before the cyber team got there,” opined Eric O’Neill, a former FBI surveillance specialist.

In a sworn affidavit filed at Zhang’s arrest, the agency said it discovered the “malicious malware” during a “preliminary forensic examination” of the thumb drive. The new details that emerged at a hearing in West Palm Beach sound a lot more like the Secret Service just plugged the USB drive into one of its computers.

The biggest giveaway is that the review was cut short when the examining agent noticed “a file” installing itself on the agent’s machine. “He stated that he had to immediately stop the analysis and shut off his computer to halt the corruption,” testified the Secret Service’s Samuel Ivanovich, according to The New York Times. The thumb drive’s behavior was “very out of the ordinary,” Ivanovich added.


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Reply Techies Snicker at Secret Service Agents Mar-a-Lago Malware (Original post)
RCW2014 Apr 2019 OP
uncledad Apr 2019 #1

Response to RCW2014 (Original post)

Wed Apr 10, 2019, 09:45 AM

1. SS agent thought it was porn.

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