Secret Service agents enjoy SoulCycle with Steve Mnuchin, who wants to control their agency

Buried in that Los Angeles Magazine profile of Trump Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's idiot wife Louise Linton was a gem, newly highlighted in a New York Times piece today. Read the rest

Secret Service learns why you don't plug strange USB drives into computers

After collaring a woman who got past security at Mar-a-Lago (described by Chris Hayes as President Donald Trump's "bribery palace") the Secret Service found a USB drive in her possession. So they stuck it in a computer to see what was on it.

From the Miami Herald:

Secret Service agent Samuel Ivanovich, who interviewed Zhang on the day of her arrest, testified at the hearing. He stated that when another agent put Zhang’s thumb-drive into his computer, it immediately began to install files, a “very out-of-the-ordinary” event that he had never seen happen before during this kind of analysis. The agent had to immediately stop the analysis to halt any further corruption of his computer, Ivanovich said. The analysis is ongoing but still inconclusive, he testified.

Experts say don't do that.

Jake Williams, founder of Rendition Infosec and former NSA hacker, criticized the agent’s actions “threatened his own computing system and possibly the rest of the Secret Service network." ...

Williams said the best way to forensically examine a suspect USB drive is by plugging the device into an isolated Linux-based computer that doesn’t automatically mount the drive to the operating system.

“We would then create a forensic image of the USB and extract any malware for analysis in the lab,” he said. “While there is still a very small risk that the malware targets Linux, that’s not the normal case.”

Read the rest

Secret Service challenge coin commemorates unpaid labor during the shutdown

The latest Secret Service challenge coin (previously) commemorates Trump's shutdown (which has nearly 1,000,000 people going without pay, and has undermined everything from air travel to the ability of poor people to eat and pay rent), bearing the legends "Essential Personnel" and "Don't Worry, You'll Get Backpay." Perhaps SS agents can pay their rent by flogging the coins on Ebay, where the rarest of SS challenge coins fetch up to $500. 6,000 Secret Service employees are working without pay around the world and another 1,222 have been furloughed. (Thanks, Fipi Lele!) Read the rest

The crooked Secret Service agent who stole Silk Road bitcoins did it again after pleading guilty

Shaun Bridges is the disgraced ex-Secret Service Agent who pleaded guilty to stealing bitcoin from online drug dealers while he was investigating the Silk Road; he's serving a 71-month sentence and has just had two years added to it after he pleaded guilty to stealing more bitcoin after his guilty plea, while he was out on bail Read the rest

To become a Secret Service agent, recruits must pass these training exercises

According to this New York Times article, the Secret Service needs more members:

...John Roth, the inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security, said last month as he laid out the Secret Service’s personnel shortfall at a hearing on Capitol Hill. Mr. Roth estimated that the agency needs to increase by 1,700 employees in five years, to 8,200, if it is to properly perform its investigative and better-known protection missions.

To show exactly what it takes to become (and remain) an agent, the Times went into a Secret Service training facility in Maryland. They filmed recruits performing the five rigorous training exercises they must pass: Physical training, control tactics, firearms (this course alone is 104 hours long), K9 and emergency response, and protective driving. The video is another one of those 360 degree ones. Read the rest

Trump Tower has two "privately owned public spaces" that anyone is entitled to visit

In order to get permission to add an extra 20 floors to Trump Tower's plan, Donald Trump had to promise to build public amenities, "including access to restrooms, an atrium, and two upper-level gardens." Read the rest

US Secret Service agent charged with sexting teen girl while at White House now faces Florida child porn charges

Former US Secret Service agent Lee Robert Moore was indicted in a Florida federal court Thursday on child porn and teen sex charges. He is being held in federal custody in Delaware on separate charges that while he was on White House duty, Moore sexted a Delaware Child Predator Task Force undercover officer, whom he believed to be a teenage girl. Read the rest

DEA and Secret Service agent charged in Silk Road fraud schemes

Former DEA agent Carl Mark Force IV and former Secret Service agent Shaun W. Bridges were charged this week with money laundering and wire fraud stemming from their involvement in the Silk Road dark web undercover investigation. Read the rest