White House assails CIA for ‘outdated systems’ after hacking tools are leaked

PUBLISHED : Friday, 10 March, 2017, 2:09pm
UPDATED : Friday, 10 March, 2017, 10:13pm

US President Donald Trump’s administration levelled fresh criticism at the CIA Thursday after WikiLeaks published a trove of documents describing the US spy agency’s cyber espionage operations.

Hours after WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange accused the Central Intelligence Agency of “devastating incompetence” for failing to protect its hacking secrets, Trump’s spokesman echoed that, branding its systems “outdated”.

Trump has “grave concern... about the release of national security and classified information that threatens and undermines our nation’s security,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer said.

“He believes that the systems at the CIA are outdated and need to be updated.”

WikiLeaks vows to give CIA hacking code to tech firms

The White House terminology was milder than earlier this year when the president blasted US intelligence agencies over media leaks, and accused them of playing politics with their findings on Russian interference in last year’s election.

But it added new pressure on the CIA and its incoming chief, Mike Pompeo, as US intelligence agencies continue to suffer losses of top secret materials - most famously with Edward Snowden’s 2013 exposure of NSA spying.

On Tuesday, WikiLeaks published nearly 9,000 documents it said were only part of a huge trove leaked from the CIA.