Friday, May 28, 2010

Polish President's Plane Crash May Have Compromised NATO's Code

When the Polish President died in the plain crash it is suspected of being an intelligence boon for the Russians. The fear is that the Russians were able to take secret documents from the wreckage and crack the code that NATO was using to communicate. The problem is not real time interceptions as the codes were almost certainly immediately changed. The problem would be from the recorded information the Russians had that they can now decrypt.

"The crash killed Polish President Lech Kaczynski in western Russia on April 10 and decapitated Poland's military, killing two service chiefs, key military aides and several national security officials, many of whom were carrying computers and pocket memory sticks that contained sensitive NATO data.

Perhaps the most significant compromise, according to a NATO intelligence source, is that the Russians are suspected of obtaining ultrasecret codes used by NATO militaries for secure satellite communications.

The compromise of the codes is considered what electronic spies call a "break" for Moscow code-breakers. New NATO codes almost certainly were issued to allied militaries immediately after the crash.

But if the Russian electronic intelligence service, known as the Federal Agency of Government Communications and Information, was able to recover and use the communication key code from the wreckage, electronic spies will be able to decode months' or perhaps years' worth of scrambled communications that are routinely gathered electronically for just such an occasion.

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