Big Data is now the hot topic in the tech world. However, few people think Big Data analysis might have been made since the Cold War. When the Cold War ended with the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 10, 1989
People working at the CIA's headquarters in Langley, Virginia, hoped to be able to solve difficult questions existing for many years. The most important of which was why their agents around the world were detected easily by KGB.
Suspicion has continuously maintained for many years, especially under the Bruce Bagley. Their argument was very simple. How did the accidents keep happening so regularly, if not because of the Soviet spies?
With such questioning, they seemed to underestimate the intelligence of Soviet. Totrov Yuri, a prominent Soviet agent in the Far East in the 1950s thanks to his ability to find CIA staff officers disguising as a US army officer in Japan, was assigned to the nickname of the HR manager of CIA. When the Cold War ended, a senior and experienced officer was sent to Japan to find Totrov and give him a large sum of money to raise questions.
Totrov asked back: "Have you not read my profile in Langley yet?"
So how did Totrov establish the list of CIA agents without accessing to the original files or asking someone else? His approach was a clever combination of the deep understanding of human behavior, the general understanding, and the rigorous logics. In the late 1950s, Totrov first applied his method to find CIA agents.
Coming back to Moscow, figuring out the power of Big Data, he began reviewing the KGB files in order to find suitable models of detecting CIA spies.
Totrov found 26 unchanged signals to determine a US agent. These invariant signals require a further research based on the long-standing operation of the US government, the results of the ineffective cooperation between State Department and Central Intelligence Agency.
One of the ways to quickly detect an agent was to considerate the differences an uncovered agent and a true diplomatic staff. Initially, a CIA agent salary is much higher than a diplomatic staff; or after 3-4 years staying abroad, a real diplomatic staff can return their home, while a CIA agent is not allowed to do so; or a real diplomatic staff must be recruited between the ages of 21 to 31, while this does not apply to an agent; etc.
Also, changes in the structure of embassies usually do not affect intelligence officers, including their position, office, and phone number. Besides, the office of intelligence officers is often located in strictly protected areas; intelligence officials can appear on the street during the working hours, use public phones; intelligence officers also arrange meetings in the evening outside the city, around 7:30 or 8:00 pm; while a diplomatic staff must comply with strict rules about attending a dinner, an intelligence officer can go wherever they want.
The Totrov being able to make a list of CIA agents and other intelligence officers to submit it to the KGB director, Yuri Andropov, showed the shortcomings of the internal structure of the US government and the relationship between the agencies taking responsible for external affairs.