WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Thursday blasted the Central Intelligence Agency for allowing its files to get hacked, pinning blame on the CIA’s “historic act of devastating incompetence.”
The comments came during a press conference which he held in order to discuss the leaked documents which are code named “Vault 7.”
— CBS News (@CBSNews) March 9, 2017
The WikiLeaks founder said that the group had received the documents not from the leaker, but after they had been passed around in government hacker circles. He also criticized U.S. leaders for not informing the public of the hack.
“Did Barack Obama conceal that?” he asked. “Was President Trump informed?
During the press conference. Assange also announced that WikiLeaks would share the code necessary to execute the CIA hacking tools — which were not part of the documents already released — with tech companies to allow them to patch security flaws in their systems and products before the group publicly releases the code. WikiLeaks is undertaking the effort in order to prevent hackers from exploiting the code before companies have a chance to fix vulnerabilities, claiming that the act was “affirming our role as a digital Switzerland that helps people all over the world.”
Assange used the opportunity to argue that news outlets that accept tips through encrypted apps like Signal were not as secure as WikiLeaks’ system — an attempt to direct leakers to choose his platform for leaks. “We’re specialists in this area,” he said.
The press conference was streamed on Periscope with the WikiLeaks founder broadcasting from the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he has been living under a claim of asylum since 2012.