Friday, 24 March, 2017

WikiLeaks Trove Appears to Show CIA Hacking Tools

CIA hackers targeted iPhones and TVs with ‘weaponised’ viruses Wikileaks claims AP News in Brief at 6:04 am EST
Bessie Robbins | 08 March, 2017, 00:33

Wikileaks claims it has never released a false document. CIA spokesman Jonathan Liu said in an email, "We do not comment on the authenticity or content of purported intelligence documents". "Experts who've started to sift through the material said it appeared legitimate", AP reported.

If the authenticity of the documents is officially confirmed, it would represent yet another catastrophic breach for the USA intelligence community at the hands of WikiLeaks and its allies, which have repeatedly humbled Washington with the mass release of classified material, including hundreds of thousands of documents from the State Department and the Pentagon.

Commenting on the leak, WikiLeaks co-editor Julian Assange - whose press conference on Tuesday was reportedly hacked - said the cache showed the "extreme proliferation risk in the development of cyber weapons".

Critics have blasted WikiLeaks in recent months for broadcasting what they deemed to be politically charged disinformation during the recent US presidential election, and for publishing hacked documents allegedly stolen by Russian agents.

The release also outlines government attempts to hack auto software systems and iPhones. The documents also detail how the government has allegedly hacked into smart TV's, in particular those made by Samsung.

USA officials also allege WikiLeaks has ties to Russian intelligence agencies.

"'Year Zero" introduces the scope and direction of the CIA's global covert hacking program, its malware arsenal and dozens of "zero day' weaponized exploits against a wide range of US and European company products, include Apple's iPhone, Google's Android and Microsoft's Windows and even Samsung TVs, which are turned into covert microphones", WikiLeaks wrote.

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Missing from WikiLeaks' trove are the actual hacking tools themselves, some of which were developed by government hackers while others were purchased from outsiders.

WikiLeaks says the agency is able to hack into Apple's iPhone and iPad, Google's Android, Microsoft's Windows and the Linux operating system.

The anti-secrecy organisation WikiLeaks said that it has obtained a vast portion of the CIA's computer hacking arsenal, and began posting the files online in a breach that may expose some of the United States intelligence community's most closely guarded cyber weapons. "This means that cyber "arms" manufactures and computer hackers can freely "pirate" these "weapons" if they are obtained", Wikileaks claims.

Other information that could be gleaned off of one's smart TV include browser histories and WiFi information.

The report also claims that the Central Intelligence Agency is able to use our own hardware to spy on us, for example by hacking Samsung smart TVs and turning them into covert microphones.

"I am in general distrustful of leaks of this nature", says attorney Chris Dore, a partner at Edelson PC in Chicago, which specializes in consumer privacy, technology and data security.

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