FSB Says Man Spied For CIA By Hacking




The Federal Security Service said Monday it had exposed and detained a Lithuanian on charges he spied for the United States by hacking into the service's computer systems.


"A Lithuanian citizen, exposed by members of the FSB, gave a detailed testimony that, while being an agent of the Lithuanian state security department, he was active on a CIA special operation from the beginning of 1999," the Federal Security Service, or FSB, said in a statement.


The statement said the operation consisted of hacking into FSB computers with the aim of revealing its structure and possible countermeasures the Russians were taking against Western operations.


ORT television said the unnamed man was a 24-year-old Lithuanian of Russian origin, a computer whiz who had worked for the Lithuanian tax inspectorate and entered the former Soviet state's security service when he was still a student.


The Lithuanian Embassy in Moscow was not available for comment.


"The most important thing for the Americans was to use the agent to penetrate information systems used by the Russian FSB in order regularly to obtain operative and other information," the FSB said.


It said the agent also confessed that between April and May of this year, before a visit by U.S. President Bill Clinton to Moscow, he had the task of recruiting a representative of the FSB through a meeting in Poland.


Clinton visited Moscow at the beginning of this month and met President Vladimir Putin. The two leaders hailed their meetings as the start of a new era of relations between the two former Cold War enemies.


Russia in April detained a U.S. citizen, Edmond Pope, on spying charges, one of a series of recent spy scandals.


Pope, who says he is innocent, remains under investigation and is being held in Lefortovo prison.