Industry News

Woman Concealing Malware Lied Her Way into Trump’s Florida Club

An Asian woman carrying malware lied her way into President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago private club in Florida, writes the BBC. According to Secret Service agent Samuel Ivanovich, 32-year-old Yujing Zhang claimed she was going to the pool and pretended to barely speak English.

Staff mistook her for the relative of a club member, but when she reached reception she said she was attending a “United Nations Chinese American Association” event. This raised suspicions, as the resort had no records of such an event taking place at the time. 

She was detained for lying to a federal agent and trying to bypass security to enter “a protective zone.” The woman didn’t even have a bathing suit, yet she had on her two Chinese passports, a hard drive, four smartphones and an infected USB, court documents say.

During questioning, her English suddenly improved; she “freely and without difficulty conversed with your affiant in English language” and “became verbally aggressive.”

“Zhang exhibited a detailed knowledge of, and ability to converse in and understand even subtle nuances of, the English language,” wrote agent Ivanovich.

Authorities don’t know what her plan was or how she would infect the infrastructure. There’s no evidence to suggest she installed the malware on a system.

According to the criminal complaint, she confessed that she had been instructed by a Chinese friend called “Charles” to fly to the US from China to take part in the United Nations event and engage in conversations with members of Donald Trump’s family about the two countries’ economic relations. She only communicated with him via “WeChat,” the most popular messaging platform in China.

If found guilty, she faces a maximum of 5 years in prison.

About the author

Luana PASCU

From a young age, Luana knew she wanted to become a writer. After having addressed topics such as NFC, startups, and tech innovation, she has now shifted focus to internet security, with a keen interest in smart homes and IoT threats. Luana is a supporter of women in tech and has a passion for entrepreneurship, technology, and startup culture.

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