The US intelligence agency, the CIA, has used the American consulate in Frankfurt as a covert base to carry out digital spy operations, Wikileaks revealed on Tuesday (7 March).
The Center for Cyber Intelligence Europe, based in the German city, was the base for CIA hackers covering Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, Wikileaks said. The information is based on documents from the agency’s internal discussion forum.
The leaked documents included a guide for CIA hackers on how to prepare for their trip to Germany.
“Be aware that your coworkers here are all under cover. While cover seems like an administrative thing back home, it is vital in the Field,” the guide said.
The document said the hackers’ cover story should be “Supporting technical consultations at the Consulate”.
It also contained practical tips, like knowing when German holidays are, that on Sunday most shops are closed, and that they should not leave any electronic equipment in the hotel room.
“Paranoid, yes, but better safe then sorry.”
The guide also recommended flying with Lufthansa instead of United: “Booze is free so enjoy (within reason)!” and personal pages, like a long list of smileys.
Some documents point to a collaboration with a counterpart from the United Kingdom. One indicated that at least nineteen “joint development workshops” had been held.
In the week of 16 June 2014, there was a US-UK joint workshop with MI5, the UK domestic intelligence agency, about how to hack into Samsung smart TVs, so that they could be used to eavesdrop.
The programme was called Weeping Angel.
Full article: CIA used Frankfurt consulate to spy on Europeans (euobserver)