On Tuesday Wikileaks dumped files that show how the CIA is hacking into Android devices. These files contain information on the tools which CIA uses to hack into the devices. Not only Android devices but also iPhones, Smart TVs. CIA exploits include even Wireless Routers, Tablets, and Cars, etc.
It was a whole 8000-page document that Google went through. Apple was the first to respond. It mentioned that the reports and the threats look authentic. However, any recent Apple device or old device receiving the upgrade is not at a threat.
Apple mentioned that many of the security issues stated are addressed in the last patch. Apple has also said that it is working now to fix other problems. Google now seems to have gone the same route.
CIA bought many of such vulnerabilities. Some of those vulnerabilities have been bought with $1 million dollars. But it is only Apple vulnerabilities that cost so high. CIA also might have access to the same exploits that other governments have.
There are independent sellers of such codes, and they are very elite organizations. Some such as Washington D.C. based Zerodium and Austin’s Exodus Intelligence. They all focus on finding and selling hacks of widely-used software.
Aspects of CIA Exploits
Wikileaks is famous for such revelations but never coming forward to fixing it. The companies have to take up from whatever information is provided. Google and Apple have now gone through the documents. Heather Adkins, Google’s director of information security and privacy, provided this statement:
“As we’ve reviewed the documents, we’re confident that security updates and protections in both Chrome and Android already shield users from many of these alleged vulnerabilities. Our analysis is ongoing, and we will implement any further necessary protections. We’ve always made security a top priority, and we continue to invest in our defenses.”
Meanwhile, Edward Snowden has pointed out an interesting thing. He mentioned that government agencies like FBI and CIA knew about these vulnerabilities. But none came forward to inform the public. In fact, they kept exploiting these resources for surveillance.
End to CIA Exploits – For now?
The good news is that many of these vulnerabilities have been addressed. Google has apparently worked hours to fix “some” of these issues at present. The latest Android updates already tackle some of these matters. Also, Google and Apple both claim that these problems are not present in the higher versions of Android.
Caution: All devices running on Android 4.4 and under might still be at risk. The best thing you can do right now to ensure your privacy upgrades.