You may have heard of Wikileaks, the organization that is famous for leaking secret information from anonymous sources. Well yesterday, they dropped one hell of a dossier which they named it Vault 7 and it is about the operations of the CIA.
Wikileaks started by releasing the first part of the series, which they called it Year Zero that comprises of 8,761 documents. The organization was able to obtain information about CIA’s enormous hacking arsenal thanks to former US government hackers who provided Wikileaks with portions of the archive.
Apparently, the CIA has a global force of hackers that had over 5000 users which produced more than a thousand hacking systems like viruses, trojans and other malware. The scale was so massive in fact it is claimed that they had used more code than that is used to run Facebook (Facebook is estimated to have over 60 million lines of code.)
These malware targeted smart TVs, Android phones, iPhones, Windows, Linux, OSX and routers which cover most of the tech people have in their homes or pockets. For example the famous attack on Samsung smart TVs was done in cooperation with the UK’s Mi5 where the hack places the TV on a ‘fake-off” mode so that the owner thinks it is off yet it is on. In this fake off mode, the TV is used to record conversations in the room and sending them to a covert CIA server via the Internet.
Also in the dossier, the CIA’s Mobile Devices Branch developed attacks on popular smartphones where these infected phones sent audio, text and geolocation data as well as the microphone and camera being activated.
It gets even worse. On Android, CIA had 24 exploits targeted for Android phones which were used to bypass encryption of WhatsApp, Telegram, Signal, Weibo, Confide and Cloackman. It was able to do that where it collected audio and the message before encryption was applied.
Desktop operating systems were not spared either. On Windows, CIA apparently runs malware that affects software in CD/DVDs, USB drives or others that hide data in images. They also have malware attacks on Mac OSX, Solaris, Linux and more.
This sort of information about how technology has made it easy for intelligence organizations like the CIA to gather information from people from everyday tech that is connected to the Internet.