Mar-a-Lago mystery Chinese malware lady to stay in jail for another week

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/04/08/mar-a-lago-mystery-chinese-mal.html

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So a Secret Service agent confiscates a suspicious USB drive and the first thing they will do is to plug it into their own (!) Windows computer, without even disabling the Windows Autorun function. And then proceeds to immediately conclude that the drive was infected by malware … facepalm

I am really sleeping better seeing the competence of the people who are in charge of protecting the most powerful man on Earth along with his nuclear football …

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This was my reaction as well. Like “What the actual fuck was he thinking?!”

Like, they pay analysts to handle this stuff. There is also a chain of evidence! If they brought charges, this could sink the case. I hope he got his ass chewed out for that.

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Mar-a-Lago mystery Chinese malware lady

Still no swimsuit? What’s the world coming to, I axe you?

@ActuallyARegular “What the actual fuck was he thinking?!”

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The signal detector is interesting. Another article says it detects radio frequency energy. I haven’t kept up to date on spy gear but perhaps those of you who do can fill us in: how useful are these? Specifically can you detect say processors driving wired devices, or do they only catch wireless-broadcast devices?

I used to laugh when movies would have a guy with a radio detector sweep a room and then declare the room free of bugs. But those were the days when you probably had to hardwire bugs or cameras if you wanted them operational for more than a few hours. And when circuitry was analog, perhaps even passive.

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Probably a good device to bring to Mar-a-Lago.

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There was some chatter on this topic in the comments thread for the article about cameras in Airbnb rooms. Apparently signal detectors are still useful, but certain apps for smart phones are also useful for detecting wi-fi camera signal.

The Secret Service agents apparently believed her.

Well, not so much that they “believed” her, but that they had no means of verifying her story - that was necessarily the job of the club itself. And thus, the security problem of the president running a private club, that he sometimes visits, becomes more obvious. The Secret Service are prevented from meaningfully providing real security. They can’t vet the people who surround Trump at his club (or even maintain a list of those people), due to the very nature of the club.

The more I read about this, the more it seems there’s an innocent explanation. She seems far too inept to be there for intelligence purposes. The most damning thing is the signal detector, but that easily has an innocent explanation (especially given that it was at her hotel); plenty of USB devices come with malware pre-installed due to factory ineptitude. It’s more likely she came for an event that didn’t, as it turns out, actually happen that was supposed to be thrown by the Chinese brothel-owner who sells access to the president. There were miscommunications and a language barrier. She didn’t seem entirely with it, either. At worst, she was a confused person who was duped into going there by someone who was using her for their own ends, but even that seems unlikely.

There was really no reason for anyone with any intelligence goals to be working the way she did - they can just simply buy access, no muss no fuss.

With that kind of incompetence, I wonder if he wasn’t the source of the malware - sticking the USB device in an already infected laptop.

Which would be an explanation of her having the device. Spycams in Airbnbs is a well known problem.

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I don’t think I’ve traveled with fewer than four smartphones in my bag for years now.

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I like to think that these days the real football is kept somewhere safe, while the guy who has to stay with the president just carries a fancy briefcase with a Speak & Spell or something from Fisher Price inside.

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Secret Service agent Samuel Ivanovich testified Monday that another agent put the USB drive into his computer and it immediately began to install files

precisely. and thats exactly what I would expect it would do.

device

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4 burner cellphones, three French hens…

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I used to be moderately angry that Trump spends so much time at Mar-a-Lago. Now that I know the Secret Service is unable to properly secure him at that location, I want him to spend as much time there as possible.

Now where did I put that umbrella with the special tip…?

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Wait! Why is the Secret Service using Windows machines? That’s a national security issue right there.

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Yes, but presumably you also pack a swimsuit…

When we send people to guard the president, we aren’t sending our best people:

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In all fairness if my job was guarding the cheeto-in-chief I’d probably get drunk every night too!

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You jest, but TLAs don’t have a sense of humor. :neutral_face:

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this was during the obama administration.

I read a good book on the secret service - apparently like many agencies they lowered standards to beef up numbers post-9/11.

(We’ve seen how this backfires with ICE)

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Indeed! I think he’d be exactly the kind of skeevy perv to install cameras in the women’s change-rooms.

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