The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the US have launched a manhunt to find the mole who, they believe, passed-on secret documents to Wikileaks.
The documents have been published by Wikileaks over the past six weeks or so, and have severely embarrassed US intelligence services, although many of the tools and security flaws that they exploit would appear to be out of date.
It comes at the same time as the Shadow Brokers group decided to release the hacking tools that they claim they scraped from a compromised server used by the US National Security Agency (NSA). Many of the tools publicised by Shadow Brokers appear to be referenced in the documents leaked by Wikileaks, suggesting either a link or (more likely) stunning carelessness on the part of the CIA.
CBS News in the US claims that "sources familiar with the investigation" have revealed that the CIA is hunting an insider - either an employee or a contractor, as Edward Snowden was at the NSA - who may have had access to the leaked material.
Wikileaks, meanwhile, claims that the documents came from former contractors who have worked in the past for one of the US intelligence agencies.
Security software and services companies have, not surprisingly, been quick to comment on the news, suggesting that if the CIA can't keep its secrets safe, then companies large and small are likely to struggle to do so, too.
"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," said Piers Wilson, head of product management at Huntsman Security.
He continued: "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."
He added: "Best practice means more than identifying potential threats. Any responsible organisation should have mechanisms to allow whistleblowing and reporting of issues as part of its normal governance structures, and ensuring that any reports are dealt with correctly and appropriately."
Wikileaks has been described as a "non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia" by CIA director Mike Pompeo.
Wikileaks' founder Julian Assange, meanwhile, can rest reasonably easy at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London following the victory in presidential elections of Lenin Moreno, the successor to President Raphael Correa who granted Assange asylum at the Embassy five years ago.
His rival, Guillermo Lasso had pledged to have Assange evicted.
Were Assange to leave the Embassy, he would face arrest and deportation to Sweden where he faces charges of sexual assault. Once in Sweden, he would probably face deportation at some point to the US.
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