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On CIA informants agent who were compromised in the field

Updated on 2022-10-09: On CIA informants agent who were compromised in the field

Last week we looked at the Reuters ($) report shedding new light on a network of poorly built CIA-run websites that were secretly communications platforms for its informants in Iran. The story is incredible, and builds off work by Yahoo News back in 2019, which first uncovered the websites that had been “shattered” by Iran’s intelligence, leading to the arrests of many CIA spies, many executed. @zachsdorfman, one of the authors of the original 2019 report, followed up with his own analysis this week following Reuters’ report about how the spies were abandoned by the CIA. Read more:

Overview: How CIA’s messaging system failures compromised Iranian informants

Incredible reporting here that uncovered a network of hundreds of mass-produced fake websites, set up by the CIA, but with rudimentary security flaws, which the agency used to communicate with low-level spies operating in Iran. Yahoo News broke the news back in 2018 that a flawed CIA messaging system used by CIA agents had been compromised, leading to the arrests of dozens of informants, but Reuters found the sites that were actually used. “The CIA really failed with this,” said Citizen Lab’s Bill Marczak, one of the two researchers who examined the sites. @joel_schectman has a good tweet thread on the story, but the full piece is worth your time.

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