Spying And Sabotage by Computer

The U.S. and its adversaries are tapping data bases -- and spreading viruses

In early 1981, National Security Agency officials working at an intelligence facility in suburban Washington made an alarming discovery: someone had made off with a sizable haul of classified information. The thief did not jimmy open a window at the well-guarded site; instead, he gained access to a "secure" cable leading into the facility and was able to trespass electronically. NSA officials believed the breach was the work of an East bloc spy agency.

If so, it was not the only one. A previously undisclosed series of high-tech espionage coups have been achieved by both sides. "Foreign intelligence services have gained...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!