Cover image for Survive like a spy : real CIA operatives reveal how they stay safe in a dangerous world and how you can too / Jason Hanson.
Survive like a spy : real CIA operatives reveal how they stay safe in a dangerous world and how you can too / Jason Hanson.
Publication Information:
New York, New York : TarcherPerigee, [2018]
Physical Description:
xii, 241 pages ; 22 cm
Introduction: Welcome to the real world of CIA operatives -- Spy sense: do you have what it takes to be a spy? -- When one mission becomes two: using cover stops, hunker-down sites, and secret catches to spy on a terrorist cell -- Dr. X and the puffer fish: How secret signals, covert communication, and a five-hour surveillance detection route saved America from a deadly biological weapon -- Gathering intelligence in a war zone: surviving bombings and brutality during a civil war in El Salvador -- Stealing a top-secret hologram from the Russians: how to get anyone to do what you want -- Snatching and grabbing a narco-terrorist: how to survive a kidnapping -- Protecting the greatest minds in the world from hostile foreign countries: how to travel safely when others want to harm you -- Turning a soldier into a spy: how a first-time case officer taught a decorated war hero to do brush passes, dead drops, and signaling to help the United States -- Giving a high-level ambassador a bugged painting: how to embed cameras and mircophones when it's you who needs to spy on someone -- The spy who sold China computers secretly infected with malware: how CIA officers avoid being hacked, spied on, or scammed -- Taking control: what you can do right now to lead a secure life and survive anything from blackouts to economic collapses to home invasions.
Reveals high-stakes techniques and survival tactics from intelligence officers who have employed the same measures in life-or-death situations throughout the world.


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Material Type
Home Location
613.69 HAN Book Adult General Collection

On Order



Follow-up to the New York Times bestseller Spy Secrets That Can Save Your Life --revealing high-stakes techniques and survival secrets from real intelligence officers in life-or-death situations around the world

Everyone loves a good spy story, but most of the ones we hear are fictional. That's because the most dangerous and important spycraft is done in secret, often hidden in plain sight.

In this powerful new book, bestselling author and former CIA officer Jason Hanson takes the reader deep inside the world of espionage, revealing true stories and expert tactics from real agents engaged in life-threatening missions around the world.

With breathtaking accounts of spy missions in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and elsewhere, the book reveals how to:

* Achieve mental sharpness to be ready for anything
* Escape if taken hostage
* Set up a perfect safe site
* Assume a fake identity
* Master the "Weapons of Mass Influence" to recruit others, build rapport, and make allies when you need them most

With real-life spy drama that reads like a novel paired with expert practical techniques, Survive Like a Spy will keep you on the edge of your seat - and help you stay safe when you need it most.

Author Notes

Jason Hanson is a former CIA officer, security specialist, and winner of ABC's hit reality series Shark Tank. His previous book, Spy Secrets That Can Save Your Life, was a New York Times bestseller. Jason is a highly sought-after expert on safety and survival, and has appeared on The Rachael Ray Show, Today, Dateline, and elsewhere. He currently lives in Cedar City, Utah, with his family.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Hanson, a former CIA officer, delivers a book replete with exciting spy encounters and hyperbolic training tips intended to make readers feel safer and more secure in a world that "feels more dangerous than ever." For some, Hanson's book will feel more like fearmongering, as when he suggests, for instance, that families create secret signals (such as a thumbtack or chalk mark) to indicate danger near the family home. Espionage aficionados, however, will be in seventh heaven. There are plenty of firsthand spy adventures reported, with names, dates, and places appropriately withheld. There's no shortage of authorial bluster ("Your average American isn't likely to be recruited as a spy") but also enough excitement to drive readers on, especially when paired with irresistible tips on such matters as "busting free when duct-taped to a chair" or "how to survive a kidnapping." The book also covers internet password security (which even Hanson can't make exciting) and ends on an energetic note, dispensing advice on how to "survive anything." The macho tone will repel some, but the book is chock-full of amusing and colorful tips that readers can hope they never actually have to use. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.



Chapter One Spy Sense Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Spy? How the Cycle Works Imagine the following scenario: You and your wife are invited to a dinner party at a neighbor's house. If you were being completely honest, you're not exactly excited about going. Maybe you were up late with the kids, or you have a big project due at work in a couple of days. It feels like you've been to parties like this a thousand times. You spend the evening chatting with the other guests about typical topics such as what sports your kids are playing or upcoming vacation plans. But then you meet SEBASTIAN, who is new to the area. He's friendly and fun to talk to, and is fascinated to know you're a researcher at "Company X." It turns out he's a consultant for "Company Y." You talk about what you do for a bit, and he's very familiar with your area of expertise. You're impressed by how smart he is and it's refreshing to find someone who is interested in your work. He suggests meeting for lunch to talk more, and you happily agree. SEBASTIAN suggests an extravagant lunch spot, a place you've always wanted to go, but the cost isn't really in your budget. You talk about your work for a while-he has interesting questions and seems genuinely curious about what you do, especially related to your role on Project Y. The conversation flows, and you find out that you're both avid tennis players. SEBASTIAN asks if you're a member of X Tennis Club. You confess you've never been, you can't manage the dues while paying a mortgage and saving for the kids' college. SEBASTIAN says he'd be happy to have you as his guest. You make a date to play tennis, and SEBASTIAN insists on picking up the check. At work later that week, there's a new development with Project Y, and you remember SEBASTIAN had been curious about that. He's been a great guy so far, buying lunch and offering to take you to his club, and so you decide to call him up and tell him about it. You're glad you did, because he seems so happy with the information-and it feels good to be helpful. The relationship continues and you and SEBASTIAN become better friends. You enjoy his company, he's fun to play tennis with, and is always up for a good meal. You also appreciate his interest in your work and you start to keep him updated on things. It turns out the information you have helps him out so much that he got you a small consulting fee. It really takes some pressure off to have extra money to put away for the kids' college. When there's a bigger change with Project Y, and you tell him about it, your fee suddenly doubles. Now you can save for college and afford that tennis club you've always wanted to join. Your wife is thrilled, and the extra money is incredibly handy. This continues on for a while, and even though you love the extra money and enjoy SEBASTIAN's company, you have moments when you wonder if you should be giving SEBASTIAN this information; what's he doing with it? But you really don't want to give up the money, especially since your wife has started redoing your kitchen. SEBASTIAN has been a good friend, and is so knowledgeable about Y already, surely it doesn't matter that you're throwing him a bit more information? It's not hurting anyone, right? If all of that seems too good to be true-the friendship, the money, the tennis club-you're right. SEBASTIAN has expertly spotted someone with access, found his vulnerabilities, developed him, and recruited him to be a spy. Spies Are the Best Salespeople in the World What do spies really do? They recruit people who have information that the U.S. government feels can be beneficial to our national security. The United States might learn that a foreign government is developing a dangerous weapon and we need to learn more about it to keep our citizens safe. Or maybe we suspect a terrorist cell is planning to harm Americans. In that case we might need to infiltrate a foreign country to gather boots- on-the-ground information so we can stop the threat. Or, as a former intelligence officer who worked for many years as a case officer puts it: "We're salesmen. We're just selling a different product, and that product is treason." As you might imagine, treason is not an easy product to sell. Case officers are highly trained in the art of clandestine HUMINT asset recruiting. HUMINT is simply any information that can be gathered from human sources. Case officers recruit people who live or work in a foreign country to be spies for the U.S. government. The cycle that case officers routinely use follows a progression of spotting, assessing potential recruits, development, and then recruitment. Once the individual is recruited, he or she is officially known as an "agent" and works closely with the case officer to provide information for the United States in return for some sort of compensation. If you're thinking that being an agent sounds a lot like being a spy, you're absolutely right. While "agent" is the official term used in espionage, the bottom line is that "agent" is just a more technical term for "spy." So both the CIA officer and the person recruited are spies. Spotting: Who Are We Looking For? How exactly does a regular person end up committing treason against their home country and spying for the U.S. government? Who are we looking for? Does this person have any particular skills? If you think the United States is looking for someone who is great with a firearm and can easily handle a wild car chase, you're mistaken. The right agent is going to have a few essential qualities, but the number one thing a case officer is looking for in an agent is a person with access. The potential agent must have a connection to someone who has information that the U.S. government cannot get on its own. Without access, there's no point. As you'll soon see, academics and researchers often possess very valuable information about chemicals, weapons, computer programs, and encryption systems that different countries want to get their hands on. In that case, these people have access to valuable information. A person may also be desirable because they have access to technology. It's also possible that a case officer will recruit someone because they have relationships with certain high-level individuals. They may be close friends with a diplomat, or with someone who works in the military. People who can travel freely between one country and a "hostile" country may also have access. They can spend time in a country the United States cannot easily explore, and can pick up information and bring it back. Assessing a Recruit A case officer has found someone with excellent access to power players who have information the United States wants. That's a great start, but it's not enough. Any potential recruit must be assessed before the cycle moves forward. It must be determined that the person being assessed isn't under surveillance from his own country, and isn't working for that country's counterintelligence. The potential recruits who are thought to be the highest risk are the ones that defect-who show up at the American embassy offering to give information in exchange for being allowed asylum in the United States. Extra precautions must be taken to make sure that this person wasn't sent by his own country, pretending to want asylum. Other risks also have to be ruled out, such as is the person likely able to handle the challenges of the job? Will they be able to handle the training? Will they be able to master basic tradecraft such as signaling, brush passes, and dead drops? In a best-case scenario, any agent we recruit will be reasonable and calm. Obviously, spying is dangerous and can have huge consequences, ranging from jail time to execution. If the agent is reasonable and easy to deal with, there's a better chance that they won't get caught. Unfortunately, rational people aren't always the ones who decide to become spies. Money problems, revenge, and anger are sometimes reasons a person decides to spy for the United States. A person who is motivated by these things might be less trustworthy and harder to handle-and therefore much more likely to get caught. Developing and Recruiting In the stories that follow, we'll go in-depth into the development-and-recruiting cycle. When a case officer develops an asset, he's doing everything in his power to develop a good rapport and set up a scenario where the asset feels comfortable sharing secrets. As one of my CIA buddies likes to say, "I know I'm developing someone properly when he feels I'm the only person in the world who truly understands him, and that's when he's ready to be officially recruited." Once an agent is recruited, he's an actual witting spy for the U.S. government, and that's when the big challenges (and fun and excitement) really begin. ONE OF THE MOST COMMON REASONS PEOPLE AGREE TO SELL THEIR COUNTRY'S SECRETS TO THE UNITED STATES There are many reasons a person might decide to sell their country's secrets to the United States. Money is an obvious reason. Having large debts or not enough money to get by on can put people in a desperate situation. Some people are looking to add a sense of excitement to their lives, or they share a strong personal philosophy with the United States. It's also possible they are hoping to obtain a visa into the United States for themselves or their family. But if you ask a bunch of spies what the number one reason is, you're going to get an answer that just might surprise you. Education. One of the most attractive carrots to dangle in the espionage game is the promise of a fully funded top-notch education for a recruit's son or daughter at one of America's finest colleges or universities. Excerpted from Survive Like a Spy: How Top CIA Operatives Stay Safe in a Dangerous World--And How You Can Too by Jason Hanson All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Welcome to the Real World of CIA Operativesp. ix
Chapter 1 Spy Sense
Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Spy?p. 1
Chapter 2 When One Mission Becomes two
Using Cover Stops, Hunker-Down Sites, and Secret Caches to Spy on a Terrorist Cellp. 17
Chapter 3 Dr. X and the Puffer Fish
How Secret Signals, Covert Communication, and a Five-Hour Surveillance Detection Route Saved America from a Deadly Biological Weaponp. 41
Chapter 4 Gathering Intelligence in a War Zone
Surviving Bombings and Brutality During a Civil War in El Salvadorp. 61
Chapter 5 Stealing a Top-Secret Hologram from the Russians
How to Get Anyone to Do What You Wantp. 83
Chapter 6 Snatching and Grabbing a Narco-Terrorist
How to Survive a Kidnappingp. 113
Chapter 7 Protecting the Greatest Minds in the World from Hostile Foreign Countries
How to Travel Safely When Others Want to Harm Youp. 139
Chapter 8 Turning a Soldier into a Spy
How a First-Time Case Officer Taught a Decorated War Hero to Do Brush Passes, Dead Drops, and Signaling to Help the United Statesp. 161
Chapter 9 Giving a High-Level Ambassador a Bugged Painting
How to Embed Cameras and Microphones When It's You Who Needs to Spy on Someonep. 179
Chapter 10 The Spy Who Sold China Computers Secretly Infected with Malware
How CIA Officers Avoid Being Hacked, Spied On, or Scammedp. 197
Chapter 11 Taking Control
What You Can Do Right Now to Lead a Secure Life and Survive Anything from Blackouts to Economic Collapses to Home Invasionsp. 217
Glossary of Spy Termsp. 235
Referencesp. 239
Acknowledgmentsp. 241
About the Authorp. 243