WikiLeaks reveals CIA files describing hacking tools

KJ

ASSOCIATED PRESS REPORTS THAT WikiLeaks published thousands of documents Tuesday described as secret files about CIA hacking tools the government employs to break into users’ computers, mobile phones and even smart TVs from companies like Apple, Google, Microsoft and Samsung.

The documents describe clandestine methods for bypassing or defeating encryption, antivirus tools and other protective security features intended to keep the private information of citizens and corporations safe from prying eyes. U.S. government employees, including President Donald Trump, use many of the same products and internet services purportedly compromised by the tools.

The documents describe CIA efforts — cooperating with friendly foreign governments and the U.S. National Security Agency — to subvert the world’s most popular technology platforms, including Apple’s iPhones and iPads, Google’s Android phones and the Microsoft Windows operating system for desktop computers and laptops.

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The documents also include discussions about compromising some internet-connected televisions to turn them into listening posts. One document discusses hacking vehicle systems, indicating the CIA’s interest in hacking modern cars with sophisticated on-board computers.

WikiLeaks has a long track record of releasing top secret government documents, and experts who sifted through the material said it appeared legitimate.

The chairman of the House intelligence committee, Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., said he was very concerned about the release and had asked the intelligence community for more information about it.

Former CIA Director Mike Hayden told MSNBC he had undertaken only a cursory review of the documents, but that if they were what they were purported to be, it would amount to a “very extensive file of the tactics, techniques, procedures, targets and other political rules” under which the CIA hacks targets. “If it is that, it would be very, very damaging,” he said.

Jonathan Liu, a spokesman for the CIA, said: “We do not comment on the authenticity or content of purported intelligence documents.” White House spokesman Sean Spicer also declined comment.

Missing from WikiLeaks’ trove are the actual hacking tools themselves, some of which were developed by government hackers while others were purchased from outsiders. WikiLeaks said it planned to avoid distributing tools “until a consensus emerges” on the political nature of the CIA’s program and how such software could be analyzed, disarmed and published.

Continue to read https://apnews.com/4112d8fe79ec4cae8391359973382ac7

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