The CIA has developed a programme that is designed to thwart cyberattacks, including ones by the US and Russia.
The program, dubbed Autel, was developed in secret by the CIA and the National Security Agency, according to former senior US officials who spoke to Politico on condition of anonymity.
It has been described as a “cyberwarfare tool” by a senior intelligence official.
The National Security Council has defended the programme as necessary for US national security, saying it would not be able to prevent the US from engaging in a war with Russia.
This year, President Donald Trump signed an executive order barring the US government from funding the US intelligence community for two years.
This order also includes a ban on funding the CIA for the next five years, barring any funds to any agency or entity outside of the US.
The executive order also barred the US Treasury Department from providing assistance to the CIA, as well as other federal agencies.
“The President is committed to protecting America from cyber threats and will continue to take the necessary actions to protect our Nation from these threats,” a White House statement said.
The CIA programme is a result of a long-running cyberwar that began in the mid-2000s, the former officials told Politico.
The US has accused Russia of orchestrating hacks on the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign, in an effort to help Trump defeat her.
Russia denies the accusations.
The programmes Autel was designed to prevent were created in 2014, according the former senior officials.
It involves intercepting communications between computers inside the US, and then trying to get a copy of them.
If an attempt to hack the computer fails, the CIA can then go back to the source of the intercepted communication, using a tool called “metadata.”
This metadata can be used to extract the source and other information about a targeted computer.
The information is then sent to the NSA, which then uses the data to build a picture of the network that is used to conduct cyber attacks.
It is this picture that is passed to the intelligence community.
The NSA also uses this information to identify potential targets.
The programme was initially aimed at protecting the CIA against cyber attacks by the Chinese.
But in 2018, a US cyber attack against the Democratic Party’s data centre in San Francisco destroyed the computer systems of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, according a congressional report released in February.
The committee has since hired security firms to help them rebuild the network.
But the program has been used by the NSA against other US government organisations and individuals as well.
This is because it has been seen as a means of identifying the sources of attacks, the senior officials said.
It was also used to try and detect Russian attempts to influence the US election last year, when the agency used the programme to identify WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
Assange has denied the allegations.
The Washington Post reported that the CIA had a contract to develop Autel in 2014.
The Post also reported that at the time, the agency was considering developing a similar tool that could be used by other countries, as a way to protect US national interests.
The former senior official said that it was the US Government’s desire to use the Autel tool to fight against any future cyber attacks on the US Intelligence Community.
In February 2018, the President signed an order banning the CIA from funding foreign intelligence services and any foreign intelligence activities related to foreign intelligence and counterintelligence.
This ban applies to all federal agencies, as the program is a “national security tool” that should not be funded by the budget, according White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
“This is not something that we’re going to put in place just because the President likes it,” she said.
But one former senior intelligence officer who worked in the agency said the programme had been used against the DNC.
“It’s clear that they were working with foreign intelligence, and I think they were able to gather enough intelligence on the DNC and other people to identify that they had stolen the emails of the DNC, and use them to target Wikileaks and WikiLeaks supporters,” the former official told Politico in an email.
“I think they used the same tools against the Sanders campaign as they did against the Clinton campaign, and that’s a pretty big indictment of the program.”
The former official said the CIA programme was created to thwart attacks on US networks by the Russian government, not Russia itself.
“There is a very clear distinction between the Russians and the Chinese, but the CIA was actually doing it against the Chinese,” the official said.
“When I first saw it, I thought it was a great idea, and when I saw it in action, I couldn’t believe it.”
Former senior intelligence officials have previously told Politico that the programme was developed by the National Technical Advisory Board (NTAB) at the CIA.
The NTAB is an agency that reviews and approves all cyber defence initiatives from the NSA and CIA.
But senior officials told the publication that they did not have access to the actual work