CIA failed to defend against theft of secrets by insider, report says

By Julian E. Barnes

The 2016 theft of secret CIA hacking tools by an agency officer, one of the largest breaches in agency history, was partly because of failures to install safeguards and officials who ignored the lessons of other government agencies that saw large breaches when employees stole secrets, according to an internal CIA report released on Tuesday.

The CIA fostered an innovative culture within its hacking team, which took great risks to create untraceable tools to steal secrets from foreign governments. But that team and its overseers were focused on building cuttingedge cyberweapons and spent too little energy protecting those tools, failing to put in place even common security standards like basic monitoring of who had access to its information, the report said.

The agency should have known better, the report concluded, given that the theft came years after highly public disclosures by the former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning, who stole data from the Pentagon and State Department, and the former contractor Edward Snowden, who took information from the National Security Agency. Both helped expose those secrets.

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