How a Chinese National Gained Access to Arizona’s Terror Center

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Read this investigation and see how many bells go off in your mind re security indicators.

(ProPublica) Intelligence Gap: How a Chinese National Gained Access to Arizona’s Terror Center

The un-vetted computer engineer plugged into law enforcement networks and a database of 5 million Arizona drivers in a possible breach that was kept secret for years. . . .

. . . .How the Phoenix intelligence center found itself vulnerable to a serious security breach, however, was neither much of a technological feat nor, it seems, the result of masterful espionage.

Indeed, an investigation by The Center for Investigative Reporting and ProPublica – built on more than 50 interviews and the examination of thousands of pages of federal investigative reports, criminal and civil court filings, internal correspondence and immigration records – shows the episode at the intelligence center came off rather easily.

John Lewis arrived as the FBI’s special agent in charge of the Phoenix division in the spring of 2006. Lewis, now director of security for the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the San Francisco Bay Area, had a vague recollection of a contractor or subcontractor working at the center.

But he said he did not specifically recall that the person was a foreign national, nor did he have any “immediate recollection” of a security breach.

“No one ever sat in my office and asked about having a foreign national inside the fusion center. That’s nuts,” Lewis said, adding that if he had been asked, his response would have been, “Can we do a little bit better guys?”

The chance that Fan made off with a raft of sensitive material was made possible by a set of cozy relationships – among a tainted sheriff’s official, a dubious technology startup company and a woman who U.S. government officials think is a Chinese spy. . . . (read more)