在2015年秋季开始近三年来,叫雪蛤“爱德华” 56岁的中国裔导游鹏将开展一个奇怪的定期差事:每隔几个月,我想预订指定某酒店一在加利福尼亚州,后来在乔治亚州和在房间里留下的现金$ 10,000或$ 20,000,梳妆台抽屉内或贴在桌子或电视机支架的底部。后来,我会回来房间,并搜索出贴在下面一件家具同样的SD卡,有时在包像一个香烟盒。我把它捡起来,休假,后来登机前往北京,在那里我会亲自将卡完全分类的秘密,以他在处理国家安全的中国事工。

According to court documents, Peng was carrying out a practice intelligence agents and pawns like Peng have used for years, known as a "dead drop." That term of art was helpfully defined by the FBI special agent who would later sign the criminal complaint charging Peng with espionage: "A dead drop is a method of spycraft used to pass items or information between two individuals using a secret location thus not requiring them to meet directly, so as to maintain operational security." Peng agreed to plead guilty to the charges on November 25.

死下降,换句话说,是在其中留下了物理对象的论文,数据,现金,甚至是秘密武器或机械零件,在商定的藏身地点源的协调切换。然后,收件人可以更容易地检索它们,并与被发现的机会较少,比莫非他们简单的聚会。作为老派的技巧,听起来数字违禁品的时代,千兆围绕互联网自由流动,彭的情况下,显示了古老的死下降剩下的间谍行业的一个非常可行的工具。

很少使用,因为偏执,因为它们可能和声音,死滴还是要造福那些发送信息或对象漏检或匿名收件人,鲁纳山特维克,安全顾问,他曾担任信息安全的高级总监 The New York Times 和一个软件开发人员Tor的匿名性。 “迎接记者或人源可能不理想,您可以在邮件送东西,但此时你信任另一方,并且邮件服务能够检查和它的交付之前查看的内容,”说山特维克,他补充说,她有,其实,帮助安排了记者,并在过去的一个源之间的死下降。 “一个死掉是检查究竟如何以及何时包进行输送,谁把它捡起来亲自检查更多的变量和从来没有的,满足的能力,一种方式。”

对于情报机构,死滴已中流砥柱了几十年。弗拉基米尔Rezun,从GRU苏联军事情报机构谁写了一系列关于他的笔名维克托·苏沃洛夫经验书背叛者,在描述他的回忆录 Inside the Aquarium how setting and checking dead drops was a core part of his routine as a Soviet spy in the 1970s.

“我们有充分的自由的时刻被放弃对寻找死者下落网站这些” Rezun写道。 “我们捅acerca在角落里。间谍需要数百个这样的地方,那种在哪里我可以绝对肯定的孤独,知道是我有没有人跟着他走,我在哪里可以隐藏秘密文件和对象,并相当肯定没有孩子从街上或偶然的路人会发现它们,那有不会是任何建设工作正在进行,这将不会有老鼠或松鼠,没有雪或水损坏了什么,被隐藏。刺探到你在储备很多这样的死滴,绝不能使用同一个地方超过一次。“

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Both CIA agent Aldrich Ames and FBI agent Robert Hanssen, who betrayed their employers to become double agents for the KGB in the 1980s, used dead drops to feed secrets to their handlers, too. Hanssen, for instance, would hide documents and computer disks in a bag of trash 500 Internal Server Error

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In more recent years, cryptographers and privacy-focused software developers have been working to replicate the anonymity and stealth of a physical dead drop in digital form. The software tool SecureDrop, which WIRED uses 随着其他一些新闻媒体,要发送的提示在匿名的网络Tor让源和文档记者。从理论上讲,涵盖了他们的踪迹,并削减法医线索,就像完全作为一个死掉,没有任何跑腿和风险物理允许更长的距离。 (The name of the original SecureDrop prototype was, appropriately, DeadDrop.)

But when a source and recipient want to exchange a physical item, software isn't enough. The Russian Anonymous Marketplace, the most popular dark web drug market in Russia until it was taken down by law enforcement two years ago, used a combination of Tor and 死滴帮助经销商分销他们的产品的客户。 11买方和卖方找到对方的TOR保护市场的网站,并在交易私人聊天做了,很多网站的总部位于莫斯科的经销商将提供离开买方的安非他命,摇头丸和海洛因在莫斯科一个死掉的地方,通常通过GPS坐标和照片传达。一些 users on the site complained in reviews that overly imaginative dealers had forced them to trek through the woods—one wrote of being startled by a moose in the process—or required them to find the exact city bus where their drugs were hidden under a seat.

所有这一切是说,即使在数字时代,死滴,间谍,新闻,甚至是毒品交易geocached,地图无法过时的,只是还没有。这塑料袋在贴在你的公共汽车站的长椅底部当地的公园或信封的沟可能是更有趣的比它的外观。


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