Intelligence: CIA Cracks Indian Defenses


July 13, 2006: India recently found out that the CIA, which failed to detect India's nuclear weapons activities a decade ago, has made up for that by apparently snatching many of India's most secret military plans and related documents. India thought it was pretty secure, because each of the major defense organizations (including the one in charge of nuclear weapons) had very tight security. However, the CIA discovered that most of these secrets were shared with the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS), an organization that provides information support for senior decision makers. The NSCS was not as well protected as the defense agencies. Indeed, many NSCS staffers, with access to many secrets, are poorly paid ($300-400 a month), low ranking officials. So a CIA operative, working out of the American embassy, found one of these NSCS officials that was willing to deal. For about $50,000, several USB drives full of data were delivered. The Indian security services have since banned the use of cell phones in secure areas, and installed software that monitors USB drive use. For the Indians, it's an embarrassing incident. It could have been worse. The United States is currently on good terms with India, but if security were breached by a less hospitable power, the results could have been far more damaging to Indian security.


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