Wikileaks dropped a Daisy Cutter on U.S. Intelligence today with the release of “Vault 7” – thousands of documents on and from the CIA.
Read more at:
The Independent; and
Wiki / CIA.
The amount of material is vast. Here is some of Wiki’s analysis:
CIA malware targets iPhone, Android, smart TVs
CIA malware and hacking tools are built by EDG (Engineering Development Group), a software development group within CCI (Center for Cyber Intelligence), a department belonging to the CIA’s DDI (Directorate for Digital Innovation). The DDI is one of the five major directorates of the CIA (see this organizational chart of the CIA for more details).
The EDG is responsible for the development, testing and operational support of all backdoors, exploits, malicious payloads, trojans, viruses and any other kind of malware used by the CIA in its covert operations world-wide.
The increasing sophistication of surveillance techniques has drawn comparisons with George Orwell’s 1984, but “Weeping Angel”, developed by the CIA’s Embedded Devices Branch (EDB), which infests smart TVs, transforming them into covert microphones, is surely its most emblematic realization.
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.
This is worse than 1984 because it is real and because Orwell’s world didn’t have smartphones. Use of these devices guarantees some level (usually high) of tracking, prying, and manipulation. And this is what Wiki has disclosed upfront and what they know about. More and more consumer devices – from TVs to HVACs to garage remotes to security systems to refrigerators to watches – are connected and, thus, open to hacking. Wiki goes on:
As of October 2014 the CIA was also looking at infecting the vehicle control systems used by modern cars and trucks. The purpose of such control is not specified, but it would permit the CIA to engage in nearly undetectable assassinations.
Your smart, bescreened, talking, sensing, feeling, modern car with the touchscreen, navigation, wi-fi, Bluetooth, cameras, little birds flying around, and all that other garbage that has nothing to do with driving. All of it is vulnerable. And this is nothing new. Shortly after October 2014 I started sounding that alarm.
Actually none of this is new. People have been tapping in and spying since the days of the telegraph. The public was aware (or should have been aware) of the government’s massive, global electronic surveillance apparatus back in the 1990s. Technology has grown since then. The system has grown with it. Assume that any and all electronic browsing, communicating, or other work you do is being monitored and recorded. Odds are, it is.
The CIA has also:
- Targeted all operating systems;
- Exploited all known vulnerabilities;
- Worked with the communications/electronics/computer industry to stay one step ahead of everything;
- Weaponized everything;
- Opened the weaponization to mass international proliferation (by nations, companies, and hackers);
- Spied on just about everyone; and
- Developed systems to evade most forensics and anti-malware programs.
Much of the recent news about this stuff has centered on the NSA and the FBI, dire and grim outfits to be sure. But the CIA is different. They collect information like no one else. And they act on it. Sometimes lethally. Usually clandestinely. And almost always with deniability or immunity. No one, even in Congress, knows exactly what they do nor how much money they spend. America’s secret police and perhaps her most dangerous agency.
Now, just as the FBI is the big domestic intel agency, the CIA is generally for foreign affairs. By law and operation they are not supposed to target Americans in America (outside the borders, you’re on your own). Not supposed to. Just like you were supposed to keep your doctor you liked under the ACA, with the low prices too. Saddam was supposed to have WMD. Income tax withholding is supposed to go away once Hitler surrenders. Supposed to. Got that?
Just for fun, Google “MK Ultra”. Loads of fun – and still bearing fruit.
We’re also supposed to have a curious press and diligent academics to look into things like these leaks. Wiki actively encourages that:
WikiLeaks has intentionally not written up hundreds of impactful stories to encourage others to find them and so create expertise in the area for subsequent parts in the series. They’re there. Look. Those who demonstrate journalistic excellence may be considered for early access to future parts.
There are very considerably more stories than there are journalists or academics who are in a position to write them.
So start digging and researching. You might get famous for it. You might also want to unplug the TV and remove it from the house.