Trump club security breach accused had multiple devices

An entranceway to President Donald Trump's Mar-a Lago resort is seen

Speaking at Yujing Zhang's bail hearing Monday in West Palm Beach, prosecutor Rolando Garcia said agents also found $8,000 in US and Chinese currency in her room at the Colony Hotel on Palm Beach, along with nine USB drives, five USB cards, and several credit cards in her name.

"He stated that he had to immediately stop the analysis and shut off his computer to halt the corruption", Mr. Ivanovich said. She claims she had flown to the U.S. from Shanghai two days earlier to promote Chinese-American business relations - but federal authorities aren't buying it. Once she got to the reception desk, she allegedly changed her story, saying she was there for a United Nations Chinese American Association event. At first, she told a special agent at Mar-a-Lago she wanted to visit the pool at the beach club.

Garcia also accused Zhang of lying "to everyone she encounters" and said that "t$3 here are a lot of questions that remain to be answered", noting that federal prosecutors may ultimately tack additional charges onto the false statement charges she now faces. The prosecutor added that the currency contradicted Zhang's claim to police that she had only $5,000 in a Wells Fargo bank account.

However, according to the New York Times, while Trump had privately become sceptical of Alles' standing among rank-and-file Secret Service personnel before Zhang's arrest, some officials at the service believe her ability to slip past security at Mar-a-Lago was a nail in the coffin. There, a Secret Service agent testified that the malware Zhang carried was capable of infecting a computer as soon as the thumb drive was plugged in. "She has no ties to the United States". And at a Zhang's hearing Monday, he testified that another agent placed Zhang's thumb drive into his computer, which immediately began to install a cascade of files he described as "very out-of-the-ordinary", the Miami Herald reports.

A search showed that, when Zhang entered Mar-a-Lago, she was carrying four cellphones, a laptop computer, an external hard drive, and a thumb drive. Agents found no swimsuit in her possession. Zhang was asked if a Mar-a-Lago member with the same last name was her father, but Zhang allegedly didn't give a clear answer. No such event was scheduled and agents were summoned. A preliminary forensic investigation found the thumb drive contained malware.

Meanwhile, all signs suggest the president will continue selling access to his White House to most any well-heeled individual - foreign or domestic - who's willing to pay the $200,000 membership fee at his (poorly secured) winter White House.

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When agents analyze suspicious devices that might contain malicious software, it is done in a controlled environment and not performed on a computer connected to any government networks, according to Secret Service officials.

AutoRun USB drives are a tool oft-used by security consultants hired to test the physical security of an office space. And the Secret Service's handling of the case hasn't done much to illuminate matters: In addition to plugging Zhang's drive into a (possibly networked) computer, the agents questioned the suspect on video for six hours - only to subsequently discover that they had not recorded any audio.

Thumb drives have always been used as ways to surreptitiously infect computers.

Monday's hearing raised yet another question about Secret Service security.

Last month at President Trump's Palm Beach golf resort, a Chinese woman breezed past layers of security, and told a receptionist that she was there for a "United Nations Friendship event" that did not exist.

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