Celluloid-worthy beauty Anna Chapman, arrested by the FBI for belonging to an Russian espionage network called “the illegals,” may also go down in history as the spy who loved Macs.
On January 25, the 28-year-old told her 175 Facebook friends: “My new Mac has been the buy of the year…Love it!”
It wasn’t an easy relationship, though. According to the FBI documents, her spy job was plagued by network problems that made transmitting her weekly Wednesday intelligence reports via a private wireless network at Starbucks and Barnes and Noble in New York a major hassle. Documents didn’t mention which Apple laptop she used.
When asked how she was doing by another Russian agent, Chapman replied, “Everything is cool
apart from connection,” which the FBI investigator understood to mean the technical difficulties with the laptop-to-laptop covert communications. (See page bottom of page 9 of the complaint, here).
Alas, even today’s agents of espionage aren’t as tech savvy as one would assume. He responds:
“I know you are having some problems with the connections. I am not the technical guy…I don’t know how to fix it, but if you tell me, I can pass it up.”
In addition to using tech to transmit messages — methods cited include steganography, communication using encrypted text embedded in online photos — they are accused of Cold War methods like “dead drops,” and transmitting messages over shortwave.
The 10 alleged secret agents are charged with following orders by Russian intelligence to become “Americanized” enough to infiltrate “policymaking circles” and report back to Moscow.
The formal accusation of “conspiracy to act as an agent of a foreign government without notifying the U.S. Attorney General” carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.