Live and let spy: Inside the KGB Espionage Museum

CNET | 7/19/2019 | Dan Patterson
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According to the International Spy Museum, this lipstick case disguises a cunningly wrought 4.5mm single-shot pistol. It was designed for use by KGB operatives during the Cold War. This particular gun was confiscated at an American checkpoint in West Berlin.

Before there were Russian hackers, there was the KGB. Established in 1954 during the Khrushchev regime, the Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti was notorious for developing sophisticated technologies designed to gather information from its targets. "It might be fair to call them hackers," said Agne Urbaityte, curator of the KGB Espionage Museum. "They were before computers, but the jobs were similar."

Manhattan - KGB - Espionage - Museum - World

Located in lower Manhattan, the KGB Espionage Museum opened in early 2019 and contains the world's largest collection of KGB gadgets, including cipher machines, secret cameras and hidden weapons. According to Urbaityte, who curates the museum with her father, Julius Urbaitis, the collection is almost entirely authentic. "The only replicas are for educational or display purposes," said Urbaityte. "Everything else [on display] is directly from history."

Urbaityte proudly shows off a handful of gadgets that, she says, Russian covert agents used routinely. The Fialka Wheel is an encryption gadget that contains 10 dials imprinted with letters and numbers and was used by Russian spies...
(Excerpt) Read more at: CNET
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