WikiLeaks has published a massive trove of what appears to be confidential CIA documents that detail the tools used to break into phones and other popular consumer electronics.
In a massive release today, WikiLeaks has published more than 8,700 documents that it claims detail the tools that the CIA used to break into popular consumer electronics. The documents focus on techniques for hacking a number of items, from phones to computers to televisions. WikiLeaks states that the agency explored ways to hack into cars and vans in order to remotely control them, and that the CIA worked to develop a way to manipulate smart televisions in order to turn them into surveillance devices, even when turned off.
In a press release, WikiLeaks claims that this is the first in a series of CIA information leaks, codenamed “Vault 7,” with the first massive leak today being referred to “Year Zero.”
CIA negligence sees it losing control of all cyber weapons arsenal sparking serious proliferation concerns #Vault7 https://t.co/mHaRNCr3Df pic.twitter.com/lwapDCKYt9— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) March 7, 2017
“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,” WikiLeaks said. “‘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 US and European company products.”
WikiLeaks alleges that 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.” WikiLeaks states that the “extraordinary collection” “gives its possessor the entire hacking capacity of the CIA.” According to WikiLeaks, the archive was “circulated among former U.S. government hackers and contractors in an unauthorized manor.” One of those people allegedly provided portions of the archive to WikiLeaks.
According to WikiLeaks, the malware is “able to penetrate, infest and control both the Android phone and iPhone software that runs or has run presidential Twitter accounts.”
“The CIA attacks this software by using undisclosed security vulnerabilities (“zero days”) possessed by the CIA but if the CIA can hack these phones then so can everyone else to has obtained or discovered the vulnerability,” WikiLeaks said. “As long as the CIA keeps these vulnerabilities concealed from Apple and Google (who make the phones) they will not be fixed, and the phones will remain hackable.”
“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,” said WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange. “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.”
The CIA contact system is currently non-functional, however in a statement to Fox News, a CIA spokesperson said “We do not comment on the authenticity or content of purported intelligence documents.”