A federal probe is reportedly looking into how the documents were obtained by WikiLeaks and if there are more.
On the heels of Tuesday’s massive document drop by WikiLeaks alleging widespread hacking and surveillance programs “cyber weapons” by the CIA, a federal criminal probe is now being opened into the leak, according to U.S. officials.
According to CNN on Wednesday, U.S. officials told the media outlet that the federal investigation coordinated by the CIA and the FBI is probing how the massive amount of documents were obtained by WikiLeaks and if it was leaked by a CIA employee or contractor.
In yesterday’s drop, WikiLeaks said that it would not reveal information that would identify its source, but did add that the source who gave them the documents “wishes to initiate a public debate about the security, creation, use, proliferation and democratic control of cyber weapons,” and was concerned about CIA hacking exceeding its powers.
The federal probe is also looking into how much more information WikiLeaks has about the U.S. intelligence organization. The federal government is also reportedly concerned about other hackers being able to cause chaos if WikiLeaks publishes information about critical computer codes used by the agency.
On Tuesday, the whistleblowing organization released 8,761 files known as “Vault 7.” The thousands of pages of documents, dating from 2013 to 2016, detailed the “entire hacking capacity” of the agency and how it had “lost control of the majority of its hacking arsenal.”
The leak exposes how the CIA used “cyber weapons” to hack, survey and control everything from iPhones to smart TV’s, smartphones and even anti-virus programs. There were also a number of examples of the CIA targeting users of popular applications and operating systems such as WhatsApp, Telegram, Windows and Android.
According to U.S officials, the documents that were published by WikiLeaks “are largely genuine” but they are not yet certain if they have been altered. Officials stressed that some of the CIA programs described are still being developed and that the CIA activities mentioned in the leak are part of legal overseas intelligence collection. WikiLeaks claims that the CIA has made most of its cyber spying unclassified to avoid legal liability.