Mar-a-Lago infiltrator had hidden-camera detector

Director of the United States Secret Service Randolph Tex Alles speaks at the Atlanta Press Club in Atlanta

Director of the United States Secret Service Randolph Tex Alles speaks at the Atlanta Press Club in Atlanta

Yujing Zhang, 32, was arrested in late March after Secret Service agents say she lied to get into President Donald Trump's club in Palm Beach. She hasn't been charged with offenses that could be associated with worldwide spying, but an FBI counterintelligence squad is investigating the incident as part of a broader investigation into Chinese espionage, and prosecutors are treating Zhang's case as a national security matter, sources told the Miami Herald.

As the Miami Herald reports, during a bond hearing in a Florida federal court on Monday, federal prosecutor Rolando Garcia said that a search of Zhang's room yielded still more gadgetry: a "signal-detector" device used to reveal hidden cameras, United States dollars $7,500 in $100 bills, $663 in Chinese currency, nine USB drives, five SIM cards and other electronics. It's been reported that the malware-loaded USB drive she was carrying contained self-executing code, and she also had a device used to detect hidden cameras. The State Department revoked her visa last week, he said, so even if she were released on bond, she would be detained by immigration officials. She arrived in the USA two days before her arrest on a flight from Shanghai to Newark, N. J.

Garcia told the judge that Zhang approached a checkpoint at the club and told a Secret Service agent that she wanted to use the pool, but was not wearing a bathing suit.

Secret Service agent Samuel Ivanovich told the judge that when an agency analyst uploaded the malware found on Zhang's thumb drive, it immediately began installing on the analyst's computer and corrupting its files.

At Monday's hearing, Zhang's attorney raised questions about how she was able to gain access to Mar-a-Lago, after a staff member at the club said Zhang was the last name of a member.

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"That was something that had never happened before", Ivanovich told the judge.

According to the Washington Post, a law enforcement official said the computer wasn't part of a government data network, and no sensitive information was put at risk. He said the malware's ultimate goal remains unknown.

Investigators alleged Zhang told agents she was attending a United Nations Chinese American Association event that evening, an event that didn't exist.

Zhang's public defender argued that the U.S. government has no reason to believe she is a spy. She showed the responding agent a Chinese-language invitation that he said he could not read.

An unnamed source told NBC News that the decision to pursue Alles's resignation was made prior to this incident and is not connected to Zhang's breach of Secret Service security.

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