WikiLeaks reveals Central Intelligence Agency tools used to hack phones, TVs

Presumably, the company will now be able to get those details from WikiLeaks.

Where the new trove of classified material has come from is still a matter of conjecture but WikiLeaks have indicated that the files came from either a current or former Central Intelligence Agency contractor. The organization, headed by Julian Assange, has nicknamed the trove of documents "Vault 7".

"In the computer security world, it is widely known that unknown vulnerabilities in products do exist and that there is potential for these vulnerabilities to be exploited to compromise systems", Kirda said.

Assange, speaking Thursday in a webcast, said he's interested in helping better secure communications technology after this week's disclosure of more than 8,000 documents highlighted apparent vulnerabilities in smartphones, televisions and software built by companies including Apple Inc., Google, and Samsung Electronics Co. BuzzFeed reporter John Paczkowski tweeted Apple's statement that read, "Apple is deeply committed to safeguarding our customers' privacy and security". Our products and software are created to quickly get security updates into the hands of our customers, with almost 80 percent of users running the latest version of our operating system.

It also said that its "initial analysis" indicated that numerous holes mentioned in the files, which were created between 2014 and 2016, had already been plugged in the latest updates to its operating system.

While Apple said almost 80 percent of users are running the latest, most secure version of iOS, recent reports show less than 3 percent of users are running Android's most recent version, named "Nougat".

WikiLeaks said the leaked documents "have been circulated among former USA government hackers and contractors in an unauthorized manner", one of whom provided them to WikiLeaks.

Cisco, which manufactures some of the affected routers, told The Wall Street Journal that it would need more information about the exploits before it could work on fixing them.

Wikileaks also said that this is only the first full part in a series of leaks called "Year Zero".

Google is the parent of Android, but there are many manufacturers of the phones and devices that run the mobile operating system. "Naming any particular app in this context is misleading". [.] The story isn't about Signal or WhatsApp, but to the extent that it is, we see it as confirmation that what we're doing is working.

The agency uses a number of tools like "Fine Dining", "UMBRAGE" and "HIVE" that on the surface seem like a media player playing music or an anti-virus program running a security check, but are indeed collecting data and embedding bugs that can remain dormant in the infected system for years and can be reactivated remotely without Internet connectivity.

  • Tracy Ferguson