WikiLeaks will share Central Intelligence Agency hacking tools with tech companies - says Assange

Tim Cook

WikiLeaks will share Central Intelligence Agency hacking tools with tech companies - says Assange

While our initial analysis indicates that numerous issues leaked today were already patched in the latest OS, we will continue work to rapidly address any identified vulnerabilities.

"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", Heather Adkins, Director of Information Security and Privacy, told Mashable in a statement.

Of most concern for intelligence agencies will be whether WikiLeaks is planning on publishing the actual code for the hacking tools described in this week's release. While the information has yet to be confirmed as true, the Associated Press noted that the site does have a record for releasing top secret government documents. "But the significance of 'Year Zero" goes well beyond the choice between cyberwar and cyberpeace.

"'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 United States 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", according to a WikiLeaks press release. There are also notes on a joint "workshop" with the UK's MI5 on a project called "Weeping Angel"-in which the services were able to turn a Samsung smart television into an eavesdropping device". A number of news outlets reported that the documents revealed that Signal, WhatsApp, and other messaging apps that use high-level encryption to ensure that messages are sent and received safely had been compromised. WikiLeaks goes on to claim that this would "permit the Central Intelligence Agency to engage in almost undetectable assassinations", though it wasn't immediately clear as to what its conclusion is based on. Google and the Linux Foundation have yet to publicly comment, the BBC noted.

Other documents list supposed tools for cracking into such widely popular devices as the Android smartphones and Apple's iPhone. Adjunct professor of law at the Georgetown University Law Center. This is done via zero-day exploits, viruses that infect software distrusted on CDs, malware on USB sticks, and systems that hide data in image files. The documents also detail how the government has allegedly hacked into smart TV's, in particular those made by Samsung. "In fact, previous work had shown that exploitation and infection of Samsung TVs was possible".

In response, Apple (goog) issued a statement that appeared to validate the claims published by WikiLeaks, and also claimed the company believes it has fixed most of the flaws identified in the documents.

WikiLeaks, however, claims that there are more data dumps coming to Vault 7, which should provide a better idea on the reality of the CIA's hacking capabilities.

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