Everything We Know About WikiLeaks ‘Vault 7’ That Claims The CIA Uses Phones And TVs To Spy
WikiLeaks has released thousands of documents regarding the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, which they describe as “the largest ever publication of confidential documents on the agency.” The leaks, which you can see here, are code-named “Vault 7” and part one of the series is titled “Year Zero.” They are said to expose the scope of the CIA’s global covert hacking program.
Julian Assange, the founder and editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks, stated that the extent of U.S. cyberespionage was an unchecked technology that posed a danger to the world.
“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. 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 first part consists of 8,761 documents and files from an “isolated, high-security network situated inside the CIA’s Center for Cyber Intelligence in Langley, Virgina.” The data trove was said to have been “circulated among former U.S. government hackers and contractors,” and one of whom “recently” gave the archive to WikiLeaks.
“As an example, specific CIA malware revealed in ‘Year Zero’ is able to penetrate, infest and control both the Android phone and iPhone software that runs or has run presidential Twitter accounts,” the WikiLeaks release stated. The malware had names such as “Assassin” and “Medusa.”
Vault 7 states that the CIA can effectively bypass Signal, Telegram, WhatsApp, and Confide encryption.
One document shows the CIA was trying to “infect” vehicle control systems in cars and trucks, which the release said, “It would permit the CIA to engage in nearly undetectable assassinations.”
Another potential revelation details the CIA’s hacking program that utilized “weaponized” viruses. The malware was able to infiltrate Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Android, and Microsoft’s Windows and even Samsung TVs, which then transformed the devices into covert spy equipment by turning on their microphones.
A supposed disclosure states that the CIA targeted French political parties and candidates during France’s 2012 presidential election.
WikiLeaks claims that the U.S. Consulate in Frankfurt is a hacking base, and also provided the methods that agents can use to get passed customs officers to gain entry to Germany.
One of the more intriguing alleged revelations from Vault 7 is a leak that mentions an internal group within the CIA called “UMBRAGE.” The group maintains a substantial library of cyber attack techniques that other countries use, including Russia. This potentially allows the CIA to attack a server and then misdirect by leaving digital “fingerprints” of the countries or groups that they stole the techniques from.