FBI and CIA searching for "insider" following Wikileaks data dump

News by Roi Perez

The CIA and FBI are said to have embarked on the search for the person who leaked their respective secret hacking tools to Wikileaks, which is being described as one of the "worst security breaches in CIA history".

The leak exposed thousands of top-secret documents that describe CIA hacking tools used to gain access to smartphones, smart televisions and computers.

The investigation is said to be focused around an insider, either a CIA employee or contractor, who had physical access to the highly secure section of the intelligence agency.

Some have disputed this, claiming that hundreds of people would have had access to the material. Investigators are going through those names.

The trove of files was published in March by WikiLeaks, who said it obtained the CIA information from former contractors who worked for US intelligence. The CIA has not commented on the authenticity of the WikiLeaks disclosures or on the status of the investigation.

In his first public comments as director of the CIA just last week, Mike Pompeo railed against WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange. “It is time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is: A non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia,” he said.

Piers Wilson, head of product management at Huntsman Security commented: “Whether individuals view this as the righteous act of a whistle-blower and a victory for free speech, an act of blatant treason, or something in-between, at its heart it is a failure of access controls and monitoring. The fact that an organisation built around a culture of confidentiality, with a high degree of security knowledge and employee screening, and which has suffered breaches in the past, can still fall victim to insider attacks is a reminder to organisations of any size, in any sector.”

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

Video and interviews