The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) have launched a joint investigation and manhunt in connection to the one of the biggest security breaches in CIA history, Wikileaks ‘Vault 7’, which is said to be an inside job, targeting hundreds of possible suspects, CBS News reports.
The “Vault 7” is a series of documents published on March 7 by WikiLeaks that contained thousands of top-secret classified files, which detailed the activities and capabilities of the CIA to perform electronic surveillance and cyber warfare, and which revealed the agency’s hacking tools.
CBS News justice and homeland security correspondent Jeff Pegues reported that the joint investigation and manhunt has begun. According to CBS News, the sources familiar with the investigation said it is looking for an insider — either a CIA employee or contractor — who had physical access to the material. The agency though, has not said publicly when the material was taken or how it was stolen.
Former CIA Deputy Director Mike Morell told CBS News 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.”
Furthermore, the former NSA contractor and whistleblower Ed Snowden tweeted hours after the release that “only a cleared insider” could be responsible for the leak.
According to Washington Post, The FBI and CIA coordinated reviews of the incident and a criminal investigation was opened within a day of the release.
Mike Pompeo, the new CIA director, railed against WikiLeaks as “a non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia” in his first public comments in a position on April 13, and has called its founder Julian Assange a “demon.”
“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 hit back Pompeo.
CBS News reported that the CIA has not commented on the authenticity of the WikiLeaks disclosures or on the status of the investigation.