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CIA’s Frankfurt Spy HQ Could Be Source of ‘Ties’ Between Putin and Trump

CIA’s Frankfurt Spy HQ under scrutiny as Russia's Alfa Bank claims "manipulated" data came from "mainland Europe"

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

Evidence suggests that alleged "ties" between Putin and Trump could have been manufactured in Frankfurt, Germany by the CIA.

The "Vault 7" Wikileaks dump of more than 8,000 CIA files confirmed that the American consulate in Frankfurt, Germany is a "base for covert and overt CIA operatives. It also provided a window into how American spies operate in Europe and – most importantly -- why Frankfurt has been so valuable for a specialized form of computer espionage."

<figcaption>It could all unravel in Frankfurt</figcaption>
It could all unravel in Frankfurt

Here's where things get interesting.

U.S. media outlets are peddling a story about "odd" links between Russia's Alfa Bank and the Trump Organization. The allegation is that unusually high internet traffic was recorded between the two institutions.

But according to Alfa Bak, the "odd" internet traffic isn't even real, and came from "mainland Europe":

The bank told CNN it is now trying to identify the person or entity who disseminated this internet traffic. "We believe that DNS traffic in mainland Europe was deliberately captured - in a manner that is unethical and possibly illegal -- in order to manufacture the deceit," it said.

Let's return to Frankfurt.

According to Nathan Wenzler, chief security strategist at San Francisco-based security consultancy AsTech Consulting, Frankfurt is the perfect location for a CIA hacking center because

“Frankfurt would allow for a more ‘social engineering’ style of hacking, where the agent would need to gain physical access to a system by convincing the people around it to allow the agent to use it. Since that would require moving people around to get to those destinations, having a central location like Frankfurt to use as a hub for your operations just makes logistics more simple and reduces the time needed to execute,” Wenzler added.

So, for example, if you needed to intercept internet traffic from Russia, and manipulate it before it's sent across the Atlantic — Germany would be prime real estate.

But what happens now?

Berlin says it's investigating:

Germany's chief federal prosecutor will carefully examine a trove of new documents released by anti-secrecy group Wikileaks related to the CIA, and will launch an investigation if it sees concrete indications of wrongdoing, a spokesman said.

"We will initiate an investigation if we see evidence of concrete criminal acts or specific perpetrators," a spokesman for the federal prosecutor's office told Reuters. "We're looking at it very carefully."

We obviously don't expect the Germans to bust the CIA. Merkel licked Washington's boots after it was revealed that her phones had been tapped by her American ally — so why would she put up a fuss about the CIA tampering with Russian data?

However, this saga is far from over.

We've only seen a fraction of "Vault 7".

There's a very good chance that we will learn more about the CIA's activities in Frankfurt.

For now, there's good reason to believe that Germany has served as a major hub for "Russian hackers".


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