In the wake of earlier reports of a cat smuggling contraband into a Brazilian prison, Japan’s central law enforcement agency has collared another spy-kitty carrying secret electronic messages.
This particular feline carried a memory card police say is the latest clue in a bizarre chase for a hacker who’s used his stealthy computer skills to send anonymous bomb threats to schools, airlines, and shopping malls.
Following hints sent to media outlets on New Year’s Day, the cat carrying the card was found on an island near Tokyo, Agence France-Presse reported.
The card attached to its collar contained information that could have only been known by the creator of malware, dubbed the “remote control virus,” that the hacker uses to remotely control other people’s computers, Japan’s National Police Agency (NPA) said.
The CIA Connection
Acoustic Kitty was a CIA project launched by the Directorate of Science & Technology in the 1960s attempting to use cats in spy missions, intended to spy on the Kremlin and Soviet embassies, recording the links between the buildings in the area. A battery and a microphone were implanted into a cat and an antenna into its tail. This would allow the cats to innocuously record and transmit sound from its surroundings. Due to problems with distraction, the cat’s sense of hunger had to be addressed in another operation. Surgical and training expenses are thought to have amounted to over $20 million.
The first Acoustic Kitty mission was to eavesdrop on two men in a park outside the Soviet compound on Wisconsin Avenue in Washington, D.C. The cat was released nearby, but was hit and killed by a taxi almost immediately. Subsequent tests also failed. Shortly thereafter the project was considered a failure and declared to be a total loss. The project was cancelled in 1967.