CIA used Frankfurt for hacking ops in Middle East

WASHINGTON:  The US consulate in Frankfurt was used as part of Central Intelligence Agency hacking operations in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, according to agency documents released by WikiLeaks on Tuesday detailing US cyber activities.
The documents describe how CIA hackers were given so-called “black” diplomatic passports and State Department cover. They were instructed to tell German border patrol agents that they were providing technical support to the consulate.
The documents instruct CIA operatives such advice as to enjoy free alcohol “within reason” on the flight if flying German airline Lufthansa. It offered “condolences” if flying US airline United.
“Breeze through German customs because you have your cover-for-action story down pat, and all they did was stamp your passport,” the instructions continue.
It warned operatives out of an abundance of caution not to leave electronics in their hotel rooms.
The revelation of CIA operatives at the Frankfurt consulate is the latest in a long list of US surveillance operations in Germany, including from the embassy in Berlin.
US spying operations have been a major point of contention in US-German relations in recent years, following revelations that the US was monitoring Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone. German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported at the time that the consulate was part of a broader CIA operation in Frankfurt. — DPA