A Secret Service agent took a USB drive infected with malware from a Chinese woman who was arrested at Mar-a-Lago and inserted it into his laptop – Business Insider
A US Secret Service agent inserted a USB drive infected with “malicious malware” into his laptop after the hardware was confiscated from a Chinese woman who was arrested late last month after attempting to gain entry to President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort.
Agent Samuel Ivanovich testified in court on Monday that he put the thumb drive into his own computer, and it began installing files in a “very out-of-the-ordinary” way. He quickly stopped his analysis of the drive, the Miami Herald reported.
The woman, Yujing Zhang, was found carrying a USB drive with “malicious malware” on it, four mobile phones, a laptop, and a hard drive when she was arrested at Trump’s Palm Beach resort, law-enforcement officers said. It’s still unclear what kind of malware Zhang had on the USB drive.
In a search of Zhang’s hotel room, law-enforcement officers also said they found a signal detector used to discover hidden cameras, $8,000 in cash, nine USB drives, and five SIM cards.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo suggested on Friday that Zhang may be a Chinese spy.
Cybersecurity experts were critical of Ivanovich’s move, suggesting that the USB drive could have transferred a dangerous virus onto a government device.
“As a taxpayer, I’m very concerned about where Agent Ivanovich’s laptop is and where it’s been since he plugged a malicious USB into it. If this was the Secret Service quick reaction playbook, perhaps Zhang planned to get caught all along (not joking),” tweeted Jake Williams, a cybersecurity expert and former National Security Agency hacker.
Eric Geller, a cybersecurity reporter at Politico, tweeted, “Very disturbing that Secret Service agents aren’t better trained than this.”