Russia Slipped Spying Gadgets Into G20 Summit Gift Bags
Russian hosts of the Group of 20 summit near St. Petersburg in September sent world leaders home with gifts designed to keep on giving: memory sticks and recharging cables programmed to spy on their communications, two Italian newspapers reported Tuesday.
A Kremlin spokesman denied the allegations reported by Il Corriere della Sera and La Stampa, both of which attributed their stories to findings of technical investigations ordered by the president of the European Council and carried out by German intelligence.
The USB thumb drives marked with the Russia G20 logo and the three-pronged European phone chargers were “a poisoned gift” from Russian President Vladimir Putin, Turin-based La Stampa [link in Italian] said in its report.
“They were Trojan horses designed to obtain information from computers and cellphones,” the paper said.