Sources inside the Central Intelligence Agency say the intelligence group has but one mission on it’s hands: finding a mole.
Just one day after the shadowy anti-government group Wikileaks released what it claimed to be the “entire hacking capacity of the CIA,” the focus Wednesday turned to finding the source behind the embarrassing expose.
“There is heavy s— coming down,” a veteran cyber contractor for the intelligence community told Fox News (http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/03/08/wikileaks-reveal-cia-hacking-trove-has-feds-on-mole-hunt.html). But even with highly trained intelligence officials on the case, finding the source of the leak will prove excruciatingly difficult considering the fact that the facility at the center of the breach has more than 5,000 employees, all of which have access to the information that was unveiled.
What may help are the forensics of the documents themselves.
“They’re going to try to do some forensic work because those documents probably have been changed [over time], so that enables them to narrow down the period to when they were taken,”Alex Yampolskiy, CEO of SecurityScorecard told Fox. “Once you say ‘this seems like it was a snapshot from this particular time,’ then they can look at audit logs of who had access to the document during that time frame.”
“They’ll run certain types of analytics – what websites did they access? What are the emails? How many people are still working there?” Yampolskiy added.
Regardless of the findings, this latest data breach is indicative of larger, more serious security problems belonging to the federal government.
“What’s clear to me — and this is true of pretty much every big data breach — the preventive controls were broken, or the detective controls were broken,” Brian Vecci, a technological evangelist for cybersecurity company Varonis told Fox. “Meaning, either too many people had access to the information, or the people that had access weren’t being recorded and analyzed. Or both.”
In the wake of leaks by Army private Chelsea Manning and former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, the government had vowed to crack down to ensure that such incidents did not occur again.
That promise was short lived based on another hacking on the government by Wikileaks last fall when the organization obtained emails belonging to the DNC and made them public. The details of the emails proved humiliating to then Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and many political analysts blame the revelations contained in the documents for the downfall of Clinton’s campaign.
“Anybody who thinks that the Manning and Snowden problems were one-offs is just dead wrong,’’ Joel Brenner, former head of U.S. counterintelligence at the office of the Director of National Intelligence told The Washington Post (https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/fbi-prepares-for-new-hunt-for-wikileaks-source/2017/03/07/28dcb9e0-0356-11e7-ad5b-d22680e18d10_story.html?utm_term=.2ba89a617be6).
“Ben Franklin said three people can keep a secret if two of them are dead,” added Brenner. “If secrets are shared on systems in which thousands of people have access to them, that may really not be a secret anymore. This problem is not going away, and it’s a condition of our existence.’’