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Robert Hanssen was born in April 18, 1944 at Chicago, Illinois, USA. His family was composed of mixed German descent and Danish-Polish; while, the father was a police officer at Chicago. He started his education at William Howard Taft High School where he graduated in 1962, thereafter he went to Knox college in Galesburg, Illinois and graduated in 1966 with a Bachelor's degree in Chemistry, He also attempted studying at Northwestern University to become a Doctor specialization as a dentist but later on lost interest it is also while here where he met Bonnie (Bernadette Wauck) his wife.
He joined the Chicago Police Department where he worked as an investigator in internal affairs with a specialization in forensic accounting. Two years later he quit the police job and joined the FBI in January 1976.
After joining the FBI, he worked in the field offices both at Gary, Indiana and New York for three years. In 1979 he was moved into the counter intelligence and given the task of compiling a database for soviet intelligence's Bureau while here he approached the soviet military intelligence agency and began his espionage cycle relaying the FBI with Bureau list and activities which were done by Soviet intelligence agents who are suspected.
Hansen was able to get away with his espionage activities for so many years because of his profile which laid a lot of trust to him for having worked in the police force. He also had easy access to the FBI database as the boss and also due to his highly secretive moves.
There were indications to the Hanssen activities such as the reports from his wife to his brother, the multi-hacking of fellow FBI's computers and his refusal to take a lie test. Organizations can reduce this by taking measures such as requiring them to sign confidentiality agreements, installing electro-mechanical security devices and developing corporate security policies on speeches and publications of their employees.