The US hacking Germany? That’s clearly old news, but after the latest treasure trove of classified information released by Wikileaks on Tuesday, we are getting an inside look into the operations that have been hidden away in the US embassy in Frankfurt.
“Flying Lufthansa: Booze is free so enjoy”
According to the documents, the CIA has been carrying out secret spying operations in the comfort of America’s largest embassy located in Frankfurt, Germany. It is there that this top-secret group of agents launched hacking attacks on targeted individuals and government agencies, including the spread of viruses, malware, weaponized ‘zero day’ exploits and more throughout Europe, China and the Middle East.
Still, if you’ve followed the news, none of these details should come as some surprise. These activities are believed to be common practice by us, our allies and our enemies.
What is interesting are the details about how these secret agents were to carry out their daily lives among the public. Some are common sense and others are just practically amusing. So why waste time with the hacking when we can get some handy travel tips from our trusty CIA.
(Note: Each bullet point is quoted without edits from the leaked files)
- Flying Lufthansa: Booze is free so enjoy (within reason)! — Flying United: My condolences, but at least you are earning a United leg towards a status increase.
- Get some Euros from a DeutscheBank ATM (not a Travellex machine… not the same thing).
- Check in, drop off your bags, shower (you probably need one).
- Do not leave anything electronic or sensitive unattended in your hotel room. (Paranoid, yes, but better safe then sorry.)
- If you arrive on a Sunday morning… expect to find most businesses (grocery stores especially) are closed. Some restaurants may be open. Gas stations are not recommended for fine dining.
When You Leave:
- Buy something in Duty Free, because you’re awesome and you deserve it! (Might I recommend a travellers’ edition single malt whisky?)
- Leave with as few Euros in your pocket as possible. Current record is held by User #524297 at 0.52 € !
For those interested in all of the juicy details of what these agents do when they’re there, check out the full document. Word of caution, the government may or may not be tracking your every click, but that is likely independent from this instance. Just to be on the safe side, this might be an action best suited for a work computer. Sorry IT workers!