Vault 7: WikiLeaks publishes CIA’s hacking capabilities
Vault 7 is a series of documents that WikiLeaks began to release on 7 March 2017, that detail activities of the United States Central Intelligence Agency to perform electronic surveillance and cyber warfare. The files, dated from 2013–2016, include details on the agency’s software capabilities, such as the ability to compromise smart TVs, web browsers (including Firefox, Google Chrome, and Microsoft Edge), and the operating systems of most smartphones (including Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android), as well as other operating systems such as Microsoft Windows, macOS, and Linux.
All the details regarding the leak were supposed to be presented by Julian Assange himself, but, due to various attacks on his Facebook and Periscope streaming, the organisation was forced to rescheduled this presentation and they have released 8,700 confidential documents.
All these documents provide us with a deep insight on what CIA can do when it comes to hacking and cyber espionage against the victims including Internet technology giants, unsuspecting users, governments, medical sector and leaders across the world.
According to Wikileaks’ press release:
The first full part of series, “Year Zero”, contains 8,761 documents and files from a isolated, high-security network situated inside CIA’s Center for Cyber Intelligence in Virgina. It follows an introductory disclosure in last month of CIA targeting French political parties and the candidates in the lead up to the 2012 presidential election.
Recently, CIA lost control of majority of their hacking arsenal including viruses, malware, trojans, weaponized “zero-day” exploits, and associated documentation malware remote control systems. This an extraordinary collection, which contains more than several hundred million lines of code, gives its possessor the entire hacking capacity of the CIA.
These documents also highlight the CIA’s tactics in hacking and extracting the confidential data from a targeted smartphone or smart devices like TVs. Furthermore, the leaks show how CIA worked with the United Kingdom’s MI5 to hack Samsung smart TVs and spy on users.
“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.”
More details can be found directly on WikiLeaks website.