News you may have missed #763

RedHack posterBy IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
►►Taiwan ex-colonel nabbed for spying for China. Cheng Lin-feng, a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the Taiwanese army, and civilian Tsai Teng-han, were taken in by Taiwanese police last week on suspicion of spying for China. Cheng was allegedly recruited by Chinese intelligence when he travelled to the mainland to do business, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense said in a statement, adding that he had been investigated ever since a tip-off in 2009. A court spokesman said that details of case will be held until the investigation is completed.
Russian law brands foreign-funded NGOs ‘foreign agents’. Russia’s Lower House of Parliament has approved a bill that brands non-governmental organizations receiving funding from abroad as “foreign agents”, a law that activists fear the Kremlin will use to target critics. The bill is almost certain to be approved by the Upper House before being signed into law by President Vladimir Putin, who last year accused the US State Department of funding protests against him. The bill is seen by many analysts as setting up a legal infrastructure for a crackdown on the opposition. Meanwhile, official statistics show that wiretapping in the Russian Federation has nearly doubled over the past five years. The main driver of the rise, analysts say, involves the myriad of Russia’s rival security services spying on each other.
►►Turkish hackers release names of police informants. Members of Turkey’s Marxist cyberactivist group RedHack have dumped online a 75-megabyte text file with thousands of emails from Turkish police informants. The group said it released the information in retaliation against ultra-nationalist hackers who have been threatening opposition academics and journalists. RedHack, which has been using ‘defacement hacking’ to promote a Marxist political agenda since its founding, in 1997, is included on the Turkish government’s list of terrorist organizations. In March of this year, RedHack stole data from the Turkish police’s network, forcing the police to shut down all its servers.

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News you may have missed #625

Ahmed Al Hawan

Ahmed Al Hawan

►►Egypt’s most famous spy dies at 74. Egypt’s most famed spy on Israel, Ahmed Al Hawan, 74, has died after a long fight with illness, local media reported on Wednesday. Al Hawan worked for the Egyptian intelligence service during the years that followed Egypt’s military defeat by Israel in 1967. He supplied the Israelis with mistaken and misleading information that was crucial in Egypt’s war with Israel in 1973.
►►Analysis: Dark days for Taiwan’s spies. When Taiwan’s government last month announced budget cuts in military intelligence, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) insisted operations against mainland China would not be affected. However, media paint a vastly different picture, suggesting Taiwan’s future leaders will be completely deaf and blind to secretive developments across the Taiwan Strait.
►►US cyberespionage report names adversaries. A US intelligence report released last week concluded China and Russia are “the most aggressive collectors” of US economic information and technology online. But the report also states that America’s “allies and partners“, including the “French and the Israelis” are also stealing the s vital industrial and commercial secrets by infiltrating computer networks.

News you may have missed #564 (China/Taiwan edition)

China & Taiwan

China & Taiwan

►►Taiwan opposition party alleges Chinese hacking. Taiwan’s pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) says it has been the target of a Chinese hacking campaign that since March has made daily incursions into its computers, complicating its preparations for presidential elections in January. A DPP spokesman said the hackers had downloaded the party’s research reports, schedules and meeting notes, but hadn’t stolen any sensitive information.
►►Taiwanese businessman sentenced for spying for China. Taiwan’s High Court has sentenced 35-year-old Lai Kun-chieh to 18 months in prison for spying for China. Taiwan’s Defense Ministry says Lai was recruited by Chinese intelligence agents while working in China. But apparently a Taiwanese military officer approached by Lai and asked to share classified information, reported the incident to the authorities.
►►Taiwanese ex-spy arrested in China. There are reports in Southeast Asian news outlets of an arrest in China of a retired Taiwanese intelligence official, who was allegedly vacationing in the country. The former spy, who is identified simply as “Wu” in Chinese-language media, was arrested four months ago, soon after he arrived in China “as a tourist”. It is worth noting that, in 2010, the Deputy Director of Taiwan’s National Security Bureau Secret Service Center, Chang Kan-ping, warned retired intelligence officers to avoid visiting China, “because of the risk of arrest or interrogation there”.

News you may have missed #550

Sukhoi-27 jets

Sukhoi-27 jets

►►Chinese fighters chased US spy plane into Taiwan. It has been revealed that, late last June, The Taiwanese Ministry of National Defense sent two F-16 fighters to intercept a two Chinese Sukhoi-27 jets that crossed into its airspace, while pursuing an American U-2 reconnaissance plane. It was the first time that Chinese jets breached Taiwan’s airspace since 1999. The Pentagon declined to confirm the report, but some in Washington must have had flashbacks of the 2001 Hainan Island incident.
►►Israel arrests four of its soldiers for sabotaging spy gear. This story is interesting on numerous levels: according to a statement by the IDF’s Northern Command, Israeli military authorities plan to prosecute four Israeli female soldiers for repeatedly shutting off unspecified surveillance equipment designed to collect intelligence from neighboring Lebanon. When faced with the accusations, the soldiers apparently told their commanders that “they worked under very difficult conditions and couldn’t bear the pressure”.
►►Turkish national convicted for spying in Ukraine. Ukrainian prosecutors say Read more of this post

Taiwanese spy operation led to Chinese official’s dismissal, claims leaked cable

Jin Renqing

Jin Renqing

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS| intelNews.org |
The puzzling resignation of China’s minister of finance was caused by his sexual involvement with a Taiwanese spy, who extracted classified information from him, according to a leaked American diplomatic cable. At the time of his 2007 resignation, Jin Renqing, a Communist Party bureaucrat with over 40 years of financial affairs experience, was regarded as Asia’s preeminent finance technocrat. His rise to China’s most powerful financial post, in the early years of our century, coincided with the country’s meteoric economic rise. When he quietly stepped down, a brief press statement by the Chinese government said Jin had resigned for “personal reasons”. But according to a diplomatic cable authored in September 2007 by a US State Department diplomat, Jin’s resignation was in fact a summary dismissal, caused by his sexual involvement with a much younger woman, who is now believed to have worked for Taiwanese intelligence. The cable, which has been leaked by whistleblower website WikiLeaks, describes the alleged Taiwanese spy as a “promiscuous socialite” and a “social butterfly”, who had successive affairs with a host of senior Chinese officials. The list included the country’s former Minister for Agriculture, Du Qinglin and Chen Tonghai, Director of China’s powerful Petroleum and Chemical Corporation, also known as Sinopec. Read more of this post

Taiwan grapples with ‘largest military spy scandal in 20 years’

Taiwan

Taiwan

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
Two Taiwanese double agents have been arrested in Taipei, in connection with what one newspaper editorial described as the most serious case of military espionage to hit the country in two decades. The two men, who have been charged with conspiracy to conduct espionage on behalf of a foreign power, were detained on Tuesday, after they were witnessed exchanging classified information at a busy outdoor location by Taiwanese counterintelligence agents. One of them, identified as Lo Chi-cheng, is allegedly a Colonel in Taiwan’s Military Information Bureau, the most powerful intelligence organization under Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense. According to Taiwanese officials, he operated for several years as a procurer of classified military information on behalf of his unnamed co-conspirator, a Taiwanese businessman who is reportedly “linked to Taiwan’s intelligence network”. The unnamed businessman, who was also detained Tuesday, would then pass the classified information to a handler from Chinese intelligence. Read more of this post

News you may have missed #0226

  • CIA tries to increase numbers of women leaders. CIA Director Leon Panetta is taking steps to increase the number of women at the Agency’s highest levels. The US is apparently “behind the curve when it comes to promoting women to the top ranks of intelligence services”.
  • CIA denies employing David Headley. CIA spokesperson Marie E. Harf said that “any suggestion that [David Coleman Headley] worked for the CIA is flat wrong”. The comment was in response to persistent rumors that Headley, who was arrested by the FBI in October, for plotting to attack a Danish newspaper that published cartoons of the prophet Muhammad, is in fact an undercover CIA agent gone wild.
  • Taiwan wants to swap jailed spies with China. The Taiwanese Ministry of Defense, which proposed the exchange, said the plan follows its policy of “do[ing] our best to take care of agents and their family members in accordance with the law and regulations”. There have been several espionage-related arrests involving the two bitter rivals in recent months.

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