Dec 21,2007 00:00
HONOLULU -- U.S. intelligence officials said the Chinese intelligence agency used a Chinese-language translation service to access a U.S. listening post in Hawaii.
The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service discovered during a major counterintelligence investigation several years ago that the Chinese Ministry of State Security set up the translation service and disguised it as a U.S.-based company as part of a large operation aimed at obtaining codes and other secrets transmitted electronically, The Washington Times reported Friday.
The company allegedly obtained classified contracts with the U.S. Navy and National Security Agency to translate some of the communications intercepted by NSA listening posts, aircraft and ships, the newspaper said. The service performed contract work at the NSA's underground Kunia facility, which hosts some of the most sensitive U.S. intelligence work, NCIS agents discovered.
The officials didn't specify how long the Chinese infiltration lasted before it was discovered.
"There can be no higher target for an intelligence service, and that includes China's (Ministry of State Security) and 2 PLA (military intelligence agency), than gaining access to an adversaries' codes and electronic intelligence," a former FBI special agent, identified as I.C. Smith, told the Times.
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