Former CIA director Michael Hayden blamed cultural differences between his generation and millennials for a growing number of high-profile intelligence leaks following WikiLeaks’ “Vault 7” release Tuesday.
Part one of the leak, dubbed “Year Zero,” includes 8,761 files said to originate from within the CIA’s Center for Cyber Intelligence.
“In order to do this kind of stuff we have to recruit from a certain demographic,” Hayden told the BBC. “I don’t mean to judge them at all, but this group of millennials and related groups simply have different understandings of the words loyalty, secrecy and transparency than certainly my generation did.”
Hayden, making specific mention of other prominent leakers including Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden, continued by arguing that millennials have “different instincts.”
“Culturally they have different instincts than the people who made the decision to hire them,” Hayden said. “We may be running into this different cultural approach that we saw with Chelsea Manning, with Edward Snowden and now, perhaps, with a third actor.”
U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials stated Wednesday that the documents appeared legitimate and that the CIA first became aware of the security breach at the end of last year.
Investigators believe contractors working on behalf of the agency are the most likely source for the material.
The documents revealed the CIA’s offensive cyber capabilities and the methods used for targeted surveillance, which include the use of zero day vulnerabilities to target iPhone and Android devices.
Hackers within the agency also developed malware for certain Samsung Smart TVs that would activate microphones unbeknownst to the target.