CIA cyber-spying toolkit now in hands of hackers worldwide: WikiLeaks

  • 2017-03-08
  • Source: Fox News
  • by: Alex Diaz

Amid a trove of documents released by WikiLeaks that allegedly contains “the entire hacking capacity of the CIA” is chilling evidence that everyday devices like smart TVs and cell phones have potentially become critical tools in the effort to spy on American citizens.

Documents released in the 8,761 document and file dump dubbed “Vault 7 Part 1” and titled “Year Zero” -- were obtained from an “isolated, high-security network” at the CIA’s Center for Cyber Intelligence in Langley, Va., a press release from WikiLeaks said. The trove had been “circulated among former U.S. government hackers and contractors,” one of whom allegedly turned the archive to WikiLeaks.

Among revelations still emerging from the shocking disclosure is an alleged CIA program named “Weeping Angel,” in which Samsung brand “smart” televisions were apparently being used as recording devices. “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,” WikiLeaks claims. “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.”

Smart TVs aren’t the only commonly used devices that may have a potentially more-sinister purpose. WikiLeaks is suggesting that “Apple's iPhone, Google's Android and Microsoft's Windows” are also being “turned into covert microphones.” Infected phones, according to the release, “can be instructed to send the CIA the user's geolocation, audio and text communications as well as covertly activate the phone's camera and microphone.”

Gregory Keeley, an expert in the security of digital devices and co-founder of the consulting company Phosphorus, tells Fox News that the problem is also greater than the government's ability to listen-in. "The hacker on the street now has the Intelligence Community’s hacking tool kit. It's that simple." Read more at Fox News

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