Exposed: The nerdy spook dudes with a licence to chill

By Robert Mendick

Daniel Craig as James Bond.
Daniel Craig as James Bond.

To most, the world of espionage is supposed to be inhabited by hard-bitten types; ruthless assassins who, like James Bond, are licensed to kill.

But the greatest leak in the history of the CIA now suggests that the world's foremost spook agency is less occupied with bumping people off than in discovering cute internet symbols for seals and puppies.

Among almost 9000 files and documents, published by WikiLeaks yesterday, was a dictionary of hundreds of Japanese emoticons (symbols that communicate words or phrases) compiled by a CIA hacker.

The document, entitled Faces of the Internet, includes "baby seal", "happy dog", "angry guy flipping a table" and, bizarrely, "vomits saliva". One annotation simply reads: "WOOPwoopwowopwoopwoopwoop".

Online speculation over the dictionary's purpose ranges from a repository for codes to enable hackers to break into household devices to the ramblings of a bored operative.

What it does show is that there is a new cadre of spy out there that is more familiar with "nerdy" computer terms than Aston Martins or dry martinis.

The apparent naivety of these agents is suggested in one document that informs them to remember their credit card pin when travelling to Frankfurt, where the CIA had a hacking base.

Yesterday's leak revealed that the CIA, in collaboration with GCHQ and MI5, has a secret unit devoted to hacking phones, televisions and tablets for use as bugging devices.


Man flipping table This is an expression of anger among cyber warriors. But you can't help but think, were it James Bond, you would already be dead

WOOPwoop wowopwoop woopwoop! Exuberant delight. The sort of thing Roger Moore would have done with a raised brow

Vomits saliva A symbol to denote something that's shocking or just plain disgusting. It says you are more shaken than stirred?

Happy with music Profound happiness or peace: usually felt just before villainous assassin attacks

- Daily Telegraph UK

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf02 at 23 Apr 2017 22:07:02 Processing Time: 395ms