Robert Hanssen

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Robert Philip Hanssen is a former FBI brass who spied for Soviet and Russian intelligence services.

For over 22 years, Hanssen rose through the FBI ranks, selling U.S. intelligence secrets from 1979 to 2001. He is currently serving 15 consecutive life sentences at a federal supermax prison in Colorado.

Hanssen was often caught by agents overstepping his bounds and access, looking at all things Russia the FBI was involved in whether he was permitted to do so or not.

After Hanssen, the CIA and the FBI vowed to instill tight controls on databases access, SIGINT, HUMINT after the Hanssen Damage Assessment Team (HDAT) shone light on how the Russian spy was able to infiltrate the federal law enforcement’s electronic backbone to sell secrets out the back door to the Russians for cash and diamonds.

Hanssen’s spying was investigated by the joint Justice Department and CIA HDAT task force. A report was issued by the Department of Justice’s Commission for the Review of FBI Security Programs and called the Hanssen data breaches “possibly the worst intelligence disaster in U.S. history.”

Robert Mueller was FBI chief when the report was released and was tasked with implementing controls to prevent another Hanssen.

See also