The KGB: The Missing Micraligns

In Switzerland, customs officials called the matter "embarrassing." In Washington, the Commerce Department would not confirm that the case was under investigation, but expressed grave concern. In Moscow, KGB officials were believed to be jubilant over a victory on one of the newest frontiers of espionage: the theft of Western industrial technology.

The cause of that fuss was the disappearance of two projection mask aligners (price: $250,000 each) made by Perkin-Elmer Corp. of Norwalk, Conn. The automobile-size machines, called Micralign 200s by Perkin-Elmer, are used in the manufacture of microcircuitry for everything from digital...

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