Russian held as agent studied US groups’ cyberdefenses

‘A year before federal prosecutors accused Maria Butina of operating as a secret agent for the Russian government, she was a graduate student at American University working on a sensitive project involving cybersecurity.

Butina‚Äôs college assignment called for her to gather information on the cyberdefenses of U.S. nonprofit organizations that champion media freedom and human rights, The Associated Press has learned. It was information that could help the groups plug important vulnerabilities, but also would be of interest to the Russian government.’

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