More than 70 foreign nationals working as spies for the CIA in Iran and China were systematically identified and slaughtered in the past decade, due to a ridiculously weak web-based system the CIA used to communicate with foreign assets it couldn’t reach directly. This according to a devastating November 2 report in Yahoo News written by journalists Zach Dorfman and Jenna McLaughlin (center-left, but generally trustworthy).
Although the Iranian roll-up occurred in 2011, and the Chinese rout occurred from 2010 to 2012, the CIA did not remedy the root cause of the problem in its transient messaging scheme until 2013, when Yahoo reports teams of co-opted staffers worked around the clock to dismantle the compromised system.
Based on at least one analysis, it looks like a simple internet search using the command “InURL” and other readily available search tools revealed to Iranian and Chinese intelligence agencies a network of interconnected web sites that ultimately led back to CIA official servers. Iranian intelligence appears to be the first to have discovered and used the easy exploit, so simple as to be hardly describable as a hack, then passed the methodology on to others. . .
Have tried and true, centuries-old spycraft behaviors such as dead drops, brush passes, cypher pads, and the like been adapted and put in place in a modern setting? How anybody can be stupid enough to place the personal identities of spies for the United States in an electronic directory in the first place beggars the understanding. We don’t need to know the exact details, but has this practice been nixed and something better put in place? . . .
This is an agency that seems lately given to fantasy and bureaucratic truculence, especially for its role in the idiotic Russia collusion imbroglio. Did former director Mike Pompeo address any of these issues during his tenure? Most of all, can we trust that current director and CIA lifer Gina Haspel has gotten rid of the fools who set up, maintained, and defended the horrific transient communication system, and gotten rid of the knaves who ignored and hounded the stalwart Reidy out of a job? (Read more from “Questions About the Huge CIA Blunder That Allowed Enemies to Kill 70 U.S. Spies” HERE)