The CIA's communications suffered a catastrophic compromise. It started in Iran.

www.yahoo.com | 11/2/2018 | Staff
marika (Posted by) Level 3
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“Everyone was using it far beyond its intention,” said another former official.

The risks posed by the system appeared to have been overlooked in part because it was easy to use, said the former intelligence officials. There is no foolproof way to communicate — especially with expediency and urgency — with sources in hostile environments like Iran and China, noted the former officials. But a sense of confidence in the system kept it in operation far longer than was safe or advisable, said former officials. The CIA’s directorate of science and technology, which is responsible for the secure communications system, “says, ‘our s***’s impregnable,’ but it’s obviously not,” said one former official.

Iran - CIA - Informants - Others - Intelligence

Iran executed some of the CIA informants and imprisoned others in an intelligence setback that one of the former officials described as “incredibly damaging.” The CIA successfully exfiltrated some of its Iranian sources, said former officials.

The Iranian compromise led to significantly fewer CIA agents being killed than in China, according to former officials. Still, the events there hampered the CIA’s capacity to collect intelligence in Iran at a critical time, just as Tehran was forging ahead with its nuclear program.

US - Authorities - Iran - CIA - Asset

U.S. authorities believe Iran probably unwound the CIA’s asset network analytically — meaning they deduced what Washington knew about Tehran’s own operations, then identified Iranians who held that information, and eventually zeroed in on possible sources. This hunt for CIA sources eventually bore fruit — including the identification of the covert communications system.

A 2011 Iranian television broadcast that touted the government’s destruction of the CIA network said U.S. intelligence operatives had created websites for fake companies to recruit agents in Iran by promising them jobs, visas and education abroad. Iranians who initially thought they were responding to legitimate opportunities would end up meeting with CIA officers in places like Dubai or...
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