The “woefully lax” security within the CIA enabled one employee to siphon out secret cyber weapons related information.
According to reports, the CIA back-burnered security in order to:
- Foster an innovative culture
- Encourage collaboration and creativity
- Focus on producing cyber weapons
As much as 34 terabytes of data were stolen; the rough equivalent of 2.2 billion pages of text.
The breach occurred in 2016, and came to the attention of CIA personnel in March of 2017, when WikiLeaks published stolen documents.
“We failed to recognize or act in a coordinated fashion on warning signs that a person or persons with access to CIA classified information posed an unacceptable risk to national security,” writes a CIA task force.
The Agency contends that it was also unaware of the full extent of the breach due to the fact that the Center for Cyber Intelligence’s systems “did not require user activity monitoring or other safeguards…”
A CIA task force also states that other errors included:
- Not giving a single, specific person the role of ensuring that Agency systems “are built secure and remain so throughout their lifecycle”
- Failing to ensure that cyber security initiatives matched the growth of the organization’s cyber systems.
- “A failure to recognize or act in a coordinated fashion on warning signs that a person or persons with access to CIA classified information posed an unacceptable risk to national security.”
US Senator, Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) recently enclosed a redacted version of the CIA’s report in a letter to former congressman and newly appointed Director of National Intelligence, Dan Ratcliffe. The letter included questions about why US authorities have not adopted two-factor authentication, and other basic security protocols.
A CIA spokesperson states that the Agency is working to “incorporate best-in-class technologies to keep ahead of and defend against ever-evolving threats.”
For more on this story, visit The New York Times.