Who needs ‘Russian hackers’?
Report reveals CIA incompetence to blame for Vault 7
By Nebojsa Malic
June 18, 2020 "Information
Clearing House" - An internal CIA report
about the Vault 7 fiasco paints a damning picture of the
main US spy agency. WikiLeaks released the CIA’s hacking
tools, likely leaked by an insider, while CIA chiefs
were too busy cooking up Russiagate.
Vault 7 was the name given to cyber attack tools
developed by the CIA’s Center for Cyber Intelligence (CCI),
and published by WikiLeaks in March 2017. It was the
largest data breach in Langley’s history, with
long-lasting consequences. For example, Chinese
cybersecurity companies recently used Vault 7 evidence
to show that the US has been hacking China for over a
According to a just-released internal CIA report, “CCI
had prioritized building cyber weapons at the expense of
securing their own systems. Day-to-day security
practices had become woefully lax.”
“Most of our sensitive cyber weapons were not
compartmented, users shared systems administrator-level
passwords, there were no effective removable media
controls, and historical data was available to users
indefinitely,” the report goes on to say.
document actually dates back to October 2017 and was
only made public Tuesday by Senator Ron Wyden
(D-Oregon), in an effort to pressure the new Director of
National Intelligence John Ratcliffe into imposing new
security measures. While the CIA ineptitude is the
obvious takeaway, no one seems to have noticed the real
bombshell: the timing of the breach and its
The report says the CIA “did not
realize the loss had occurred until a year later,
when WikiLeaks publicly announced it in March
2017.” Now, what all was happening between March
2016 and a year later? You guessed it: Russiagate!
Even as his own cyber arsenal was getting swiped
from under his very nose, CIA chief John Brennan was
obsessing about “Russian hackers” of the Democratic
National Committee, or Hillary Clinton’s emails, or
something – and pushing the bogus ‘Steele Dossier’
alleging Donald Trump’s collusion with Russia, which
eventually made it into the infamous ‘Intelligence
Community Assessment’ that accused Moscow of
meddling in the 2016 US presidential election.
It gets worse. According to the report, “Had the
data been stolen for the benefit of a state
adversary and not published, we might still be
unaware of the loss—as would be true for the vast
majority of data on Agency mission systems.”
So if the mythic bogeymen 'Russian hackers' had
actually wanted to harm the US, they could have just
used the CIA’s own, unprotected cyberweapons to
stage false flags and wreak havoc across the world?
None of which happened, obviously. Yet Brennan and
his confederates have been telling everyone for
years that the Kremlins wanted to “hack our
democracy” by publishing some Democrat emails and
posting memes on social media!
Note that Mike Pompeo, who took over at Langley
before he moved to Foggy Bottom, bought into
Brennan’s fable hook, line and sinker, denouncing
WikiLeaks as a “hostile intelligence
service” and a “cut-out” for Russia in April 2017.
In an irony of ironies, the Trump administration –
run by a man who denounced the Iraq war and was
falsely accused of working with WikiLeaks and Russia
to get elected – is now seeking extradition of
Julian Assange from the UK on trumped-up hacking
charges related to the 2010 WikiLeaks revelations of
US atrocities in Iraq.
As for how Vault 7 got to WikiLeaks, the jury is
still out on that. Joshua Schulte, the employee
charged with leaking the files, is being prosecuted
again after a hung jury at his first trial in March.
His lawyers have argued the CIA security was so lax,
anyone else on the team, or even outsiders, could
have done it.
The next time the media report some incendiary claim
based on US intelligence “assessments,” try to keep
all this in mind.
Nebojsa Malic, is a Serbian-American journalist,
blogger and translator, who wrote a regular column
for Antiwar.com from 2000 to 2015, and is now senior
writer at RT. Follow him on Twitter @NebojsaMalic.
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