WikiLeaks Reveals CIA’s Hacking Capabilities in ‘Vault 7’ series documents

Wikileaks has published a massive trove of data allegedly the biggest ever leak on Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) highlighting its hacking capabilities for large-scale cyber attacks and espionage.

Dubbed Vault 7 by Wikileaks; the documents were supposed to be leaked by Julian Assange himself, however, due to attacks on his Facebook and Periscope streaming, the organization was forced to rescheduled the presentation and released 8,700 confidential documents.

These documents provide an in-depth look at what CIA can do when it comes to hacking and cyber espionage against victims which includes unsuspecting users, Internet technology giants, medical sector, governments and leaders around the world.

According to Wikileaks’ press release:

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.

“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.

The documents also highlight CIA’s tactics in hacking and extracting confidential data from a targeted smartphone and smart devices including TVs. Furthermore, the leaks reveal 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.” 

In a nutshell, Vault 7 exposes CIA’s malware targeting iPhone, Android, Smart TVs, Windows, OSX, Linux, routers, hoarding zero days vulnerabilities and the role of U.S. Consulate in Frankfurt as a secret CIA hacker base etc.

To understand how massive this leak is, the Vault 7 leaks have already surpassed the total number of documents leaked by Edward Snowden in the last three years.

It must be noted that the leaked documents cover events between 2013 to 2016, while the documents were obtained in 2016. However, it is unclear how the organization was capable of obtaining such a massive trove of data. Also, these documents have not been verified yet and examining them may take a while.

Source: Wikileaks

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