The FBI and CIA are investigating hundreds of possible suspects in one of the biggest security breaches in CIA history, CBS News reports. The WikiLeaks “Vault 7” release, which contained thousands of top-secret documents, revealed the agency’s hacking tools.
A joint investigation and manhunt by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Central Intelligence Agency into the source of WikiLeaks’ “Vault 7” dump last month has begun, CBS News justice and homeland security correspondent Jeff Pegues reported Wednesday evening.
The release last month brought to light the CIA’s digital arsenal for hacking into computer systems and smart devices such as phones and televisions. Thousands of top-secret classified files that had previously been guarded within a “highly secure section of the intelligence agency,” as CBS News sources described it, were made available to the world for free by WikiLeaks.
The source of the leak, the FBI and CIA reportedly believe, was one of the hundreds of agents or contractors who had physical access to the material, not an outside hacker. That suspicion seems to align with what WikiLeaks said in their press release announcing the Vault 7 release on March 7.
“The archive appears to have been circulated among former US government hackers and contractors in an unauthorized manner, one of whom has provided WikiLeaks with portions of the archive,” the pro-transparency group said.
Unnamed US intelligence sources told Reuters within a day of the release that the CIA had been anticipating it since near the end of 2016.
The FBI and CIA coordinated reviews of the incident and a criminal investigation was opened within a day of the release, the Washington Post reported at the time, based on an unnamed former intelligence official who said to expect “another major mole hunt.”
Former CIA Deputy Director Mike Morell told CBS News less than a week after the release that the leak “has to be an inside job,” as the data was on a CIA top secret network “not connected to any other network.”
What makes this look real?
Program & office names, such as the JQJ (IOC) crypt series, are real. Only a cleared insider could know them.
Last week, in his first public comments in his new position, CIA director Mike Pompeo blasted WikiLeaks as “a non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia” and called founder Julian Assange a “demon.”
Assange on Wednesday hit back at Pompeo on ‘The Intercepted’ podcast with Jeremy Scahill of The Intercept, accusing him of attacking WikiLeaks “to get ahead of the publicity curve.”
“In fact, the reason Pompeo is launching this attack is because he understands we are exposing in this series all sorts of illegal actions by the CIA, so he’s trying to get ahead of the publicity curve and create a preemptive defense,” Assange said.
After the messy and high-profile resignation of Michael Flynn, the president and at least one key congressional Republican have directed their ire at the leaks that exposed the now-former National Security Advisor’s clandestine conversations with Russian officials. “The real story here is why are there so many illegal leaks coming out of Washington?”
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) echoed the president’s concerns.
“I am going to be asking the FBI to do an assessment of this to tell us what’s going on here because we cannot continue to have these leaks as a government,” he told Fox News.
Facing the sunrise on a frigid morning, Rosebud Sioux tribal leader Royal Yellow Hawk offered an ancient prayer in song, his voice periodically muffled by the whistling prairie wind. Behind Yellow Hawk was a cinematic scene from another century: 30-foot-tall tipis arranged in a half circle, quickly brightening in the morning light.
This tipi encampment was erected this spring to be a visible and ongoing embodiment of opposition to the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline, which, if constructed, would hug the reservation’s territory in transporting diluted bitumen oil 1,179-miles from Canada’s tar sands to Steele City, Nebraska.
The Keystone XL is being built by the Canadian energy company, Trans Canada. This fourth and final phase of the project—still awaiting approval by the Obama administration—will cost an estimated $5.4 billion. Other segments of the Keystone–at an estimated cost of $5 billion—have been in operation since 2010, bringing the tar sands oil from Hardisty, Alberta, to refineries in the American Midwest and the Gulf Coast.
Last month, the ruling Japanese coalition parties quickly rammed through Parliament a state secrets law. We Americans better take notice.
Under its provisions the government alone decides what are state secrets and any civil servants who divulge any “secrets” can be jailed for up to 10 years. Journalists caught in the web of this vaguely defined law can be jailed for up to 5 years.
Government officials have been upset at the constant disclosures of their laxity by regulatory officials before and after the Fukushima nuclear power disaster in 2011, operated by Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO).
Week after week, reports appear in the press revealing the seriousness of the contaminated water flow, the inaccessible radioactive material deep inside these reactors and the need to stop these leaking sites from further poisoning the land, food and ocean. Officials now estimate that it could take up to 40 years to clean up and decommission the reactors.
The National Security Agency provided the Central Intelligence Agency with crucial information on an associate of Osama bin Laden, who was killed days later by a US drone strike, according to a report based on documents provided by Edward Snowden.
Hassan Ghul was a known Al-Qaeda operative in Iraq who was captured in 2004 and turned over information regarding bin Laden’s courier network. He was transferred to a secret CIA prison before being released to Pakistan in 2006. Ghul was killed six years later in the country’s tribal belt, eliminated by a drone strike that the US has never publicly acknowledged.
Now, a new report from The Washington Post has revealed that an email from Ghul’s wife “about her current living conditions” was intercepted by the NSA and provided enough information to determine where the wanted Ghul had gone into hiding.
The Post did withhold information at the request of US officials who said that full disclosure could hurt national security.
“This information enabled a capture/kill operation against an individual believed to be Hassan Ghul on October 1,” a document summarizing the mission indicated.
The files seen by the Post did not detail how the message was monitored.
Microsoft worked hand-in-hand with the United States government in order to allow federal investigators to bypass encryption mechanisms meant to protect the privacy of millions of users, Edward Snowden told The Guardian.
According to an article published on Thursday by the British newspaper, internal National Security Agency memos show that Microsoft actually helped the federal government find a way to decrypt messages sent over select platforms, including Outlook.com Web chat, Hotmail email service, and Skype.
The Guardian wrote that Snowden, the 30-year-old former systems administrator for NSA contractor Booz Allen Hamilton, provided the paper with files detailing a sophisticated relationship between America’s intelligence sector and Silicon Valley.
The documents, which are reportedly marked top-secret, come in the wake of other high-profile disclosures attributed to Snowden since he first started collaborating with the paper for articles published beginning June 6. The United States government has since indicted Snowden under the Espionage Act, and he has requested asylum from no fewer than 20 foreign nations.
Thursday’s article is authored by Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, two journalists who interviewed Snowden at length before he publicly revealed himself to be the source of the NSA leaks. They are joined by co-authors Ewen MacAskill, Spencer Ackerman and Dominic Rushe, who wrote that the classified documents not only reveal the degree in which Microsoft worked with the feds, but also detail the PRISM internet surveillance program. The US government’s relationships with tech companies are also included in the documents, according to the journalists.
“The latest NSA revelations further expose the tensions between Silicon Valley and the Obama administration,” the journalists wrote. “All the major tech firms are lobbying the government to allow them to disclose more fully the extent and nature of their cooperation with the NSA to meet their customers’ privacy concerns. Privately, tech executives are at pains to distance themselves from claims of collaboration and teamwork given by the NSA documents, and insist the process is driven by legal compulsion.”
President Obama’s counterparts in South American are demanding apologies over this week’s Bolivian plane incident.
South America’s leftist leaders are rallying behind Bolivian President Evo Morales after his plane was re-routed because of suspicions that National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden was aboard.
The presidents demanded apologies from France, Italy, Portugal and Spain over the blocking of air space for Morales’ plane, and many said the United State was behind the whole incident.
“A minster of one of those European governments told me personally that it was the CIA who gave the order to the aeronautical authorities, the one who gave the alert that Snowden was on the plane,” saidVenezuelan President Nicolas Maduro at a political gathering in Bolivia. “The CIA is more powerful that governments.”