After “leaking” thousands of emails during the Presidential elections, the WikiLeaks is back. This time it is none other than the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) that is under the radar. According to the Vault7, the CIA has been tapping into Android and iOS to snoop.
Julian Assange and his team leaked 8,761 documents that they claim CIA has been using. These are mentions of the hacking tools and vulnerabilities in your TVs, smartphones, tablets and more.
“The series is the largest intelligence publication in history,” Wikileaks says. “This extraordinary collection, which amounts to more than several hundred million lines of code, gives its possessor the entire hacking capacity of the CIA. The archive appears to have been circulated among former U.S. government hackers and contractors in an unauthorized manner, one of whom has provided WikiLeaks with portions of the archive.”
Vault7: Which devices are affected?
You should rather be asking which devices are not affected! It turns out that the web browsers like Chrome and Smart TVs. For the Smart TVs, a hacking tool called ‘Weeping Angel’ is used. Weeping Angel could turn your Smart TV into fake off mode and listen to your conversations. Samsung had earlier warned people not to speak near their televisions. The conversations could be recorded and listened. Apparently, it is the same vulnerability that the CIA was exploiting.
These CIA documents are not new – they are from 2014. It also refers to a future work where TVs could be used to take pictures of people. Even routers could be exploited by using fake ‘turn off’ feature.
For Android phones, there are the malware description and the proof of concept name. But, Google has already resolved some of these issues. In a statement, it mentioned that some of these vulnerabilities had been fixed. Some more of them have been removed in the latest version.
The iOS section shows the security issues have codenames like WinterSpy, Juggernaut. The types of exploits and the access code are also mentioned. But Apple too has followed Google’s footsteps. It announced that several of those “issues” are already resolved in the last update.
How WikiLeaks Exposed the CIA
So CIA lost control of some of their documents. These including information about malware, Trojans, arsenals, and “zero day” exploits. WikiLeaks only got ahold of a part of that document.
It further reveals that the CIA created the malware in such a way that they couldn’t be tracked back to the US.
The ‘Vault7’ read: “CIA hackers developed successful attacks against most well-known anti-virus programs.”
Vault7: Is it real?
There is no doubt that these are real because Google and Apple have already confirmed it. They speak of real vulnerabilities – ones that can get you arrested. But the CIA has not spoken on this yet. They have said they do not comment on “content of purported intelligence documents.” It is a normal response for any intelligence agency.
So when you unlock your phone next, be very careful! Rumor suggests the CIA can now click pictures via your smartphone’s front camera.