Chinese woman arrested at Trump's Florida resort to remain in custody

Chinese woman arrested at Trump's Florida resort to remain in custody

Zhang's arrest has raised questions about security at the Palm Beach resort, which is a private club and also the president's "Winter White House".

The woman who allegedly breached security at Mar-a-Lago while carrying Chinese passports and a flash drive containing malware ALSO had a signal detector, 9 USB drives, 5 SIM cards, and thousands in cash in her hotel room, federal prosecutors said.

The federal magistrate judge who held the hearing on Monday will decide next week if Yujing should stay in jail until she is tried, or be released to live in the USA as she awaits trial. "She did not have the type of devices that can be associated with espionage activities", Adler said, according to The Washington Post. If she were released, she would enter the custody of immigration officials, he said.

Zhang had four phones and other devices - plus she left several more, including a radio signal detector, in her hotel room nearby. While at first glance plugging in Zhang's sketchy USB drive may look like a case of a monumental security screw-up, if a cybersecurity expert were to plug it into a specific computer with the goal of checking it for malware, then we would say they were doing their job. And, according to the Miami Herald, U.S. government officials straight up plugged that bad boy into a computer - a bit of news that generated some serious double takes in the infosec community.

"Mr. Ivanovich testified that the computer analyst who reviewed Ms. Zhang's devices said that the thumb drive she was carrying had immediately begun installing a program on his computer", it explains.

The woman, identified as Zhang Yujing in Asian media, is reportedly being treated as a potential national-security threat, though the actual reason for her Palm Beach visit remains unclear.

When authorities arrested Yujing Zhang on March 30, they discovered she was carrying four separate phones, one laptop, and a thumb drive. The criminal complaint filed by prosecutors and the Secret Service against Zhang last week highlighted how a Mar-a-Lago beach club manager erroneously thought Zhang was related to a member.

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Inside, they say she told a front-desk clerk she was there for a nonexistent Chinese American event.

The receptionist alerted law enforcement.

A prosecutor said Zhang arrived in the US on March 28 at Newark Liberty International Airport.

When the Secret Service questioned Zhang at the agency's office after removing her from Mar-a-Lago, the agency videotaped her interview. No such event was scheduled and agents were summoned. He said she carried a legitimate passport and visa. She showed him an invitation in Chinese he could not read.

Zhang's previous hearing when she was first arrested went unusually-she admitted to owning a BMW and a home in China worth more than 1 million American dollars, and asked extensively about how she may get in contact with an attorney or find phone numbers of contacts in America if she were detained in a Florida jail. There's been some dispute over how well Zhang speaks and understands English, though the court did provide her with a language interpreter at the previous court hearing.

A prosecutor says the Federal Bureau of Investigation is still investigating whether a Chinese woman accused of lying to illegally enter President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago club in Florida is a spy.

A former US government expert on Chinese intelligence operations, who asked not to be named while discussing sensitive information, said investigators would want to know "why, exactly, was she there?" The incident occurred on March 30. But the event had been canceled. And according to federal prosecutors, she had a large cache of cash and various electronic devices in her hotel room.

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