U.S. authorities probing the recent leak of secret materials are focusing on past CIA contractors who may have been upset over job losses, the Wall Street Journal said on Sunday.
On Tuesday, WikiLeaks published over 8,700 classified files from what it called an unprecedentedly large archive of leaked information related to the CIA. This amount is less than 1 percent of the total volume of the leak, according to the website. The first part of the release shed light on hacking techniques developed and employed by the agency, including programs targeting all major computer operating systems.
The investigators have narrowed their search down to a team of software developer contractors in Virginia, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing a source familiar with the investigation.
The contractors worked on developing tools used by the CIA to hack phones, computers and televisions connected to the internet. Several of the CIA Engineering Development Group contractors have already been questioned by no one has been detained so far, according to the source, who added that the investigation was unfolding rapidly.
Anger over job cuts among the employees of the dozen or so companies working on CIA hacking projects may have been the driving force behind the leak, another source stated.
In interpreting the leaked documents, WikiLeaks said that the CIA used the US consulate in Frankfurt as a covert base for its hackers covering Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The hackers operating out of the consulate were receiving diplomatic passports and cover from the US State Department, according to the leaked documents.