This morning, WikiLeaks released nearly 9,000 documents detailing the CIA’s extensive hacking practices during the Obama administration.
The document dump reveals the CIA hacking program was largely unsupervised and used devices like smart phones for surveillance.
Obama’s CIA Hacked iPhones, Smart TVs, and Cars to SPY ON ALL OF US!
Among the disturbing revelations are details of how the CIA hacked personal devices to spy on people. It appears these hacks could be used to spy on Americans. The activities covered in the documents occurred between 2013 and 2016, right in the middle of the Obama administration. The CIA reportedly hacked iPhones, smart TVs, and even cars. Wikileaks is calling it the largest intelligence document dump in history.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the document dump is the revelation that Wikileaks says there are many big stories hiding in the documents that they have not mentioned. They say they purposely left these stories unmentioned, so anyone can find it for themselves and “break” the story.
The first full part of the series, “Year Zero”, comprises 8,761 documents and files from an isolated, high-security network situated inside the CIA’s Center for Cyber Intelligence in Langley, Virgina. It follows an introductory disclosure last month of CIA targeting French political parties and candidates in the lead up to the 2012 presidential election.
Recently, the CIA lost control of the majority of its hacking arsenal including malware, viruses, trojans, weaponized “zero day” exploits, malware remote control systems and associated documentation. 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.
“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 U.S. 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.
Julian Assange, WikiLeaks editor stated that “There is an extreme proliferation risk in the development of cyber ‘weapons’. Comparisons can be drawn between the uncontrolled proliferation of such ‘weapons’, which results from the inability to contain them combined with their high market value, and the global arms trade. But the significance of “Year Zero” goes well beyond the choice between cyberwar and cyberpeace. The disclosure is also exceptional from a political, legal and forensic perspective.”
In this statement excerpt, WikiLeaks describes how the CIA hacked devices to spy on citizens.
The attack against Samsung smart TVs was developed in cooperation with the United Kingdom’s MI5/BTSS. After infestation, Weeping Angel places the target TV in a ‘Fake-Off’ mode, so that the owner falsely believes the TV is off when it is on. In ‘Fake-Off’ mode the TV operates as a bug, recording conversations in the room and sending them over the Internet to a covert CIA server.
As of October 2014 the CIA was also looking at infecting the vehicle control systems used by modern cars and trucks. The purpose of such control is not specified, but it would permit the CIA to engage in nearly undetectable assassinations.
The CIA’s Mobile Devices Branch (MDB) developed numerous attacks to remotely hack and control popular smart phones. Infected phones can be instructed to send the CIA the user’s geolocation, audio and text communications as well as covertly activate the phone’s camera and microphone.
These hacks had very little oversight, so the CIA could easily spy on anyone, including U.S. citizens. This spying could happen without warrants from an American judge.