Watch what you say because your computer might be listening… or your cell phone, or television.
That was the message behind more than 8,000 documents leaked Tuesday by the open-governemnt organization WikiLeaks.
The info dump, which WikiLeakssaid “is the largest ever publication of confidential documents on the agency,” claims to reveal the entire hacking capacity of the CIA.
The leaks include more than 700 million lines of codethat describea hacking arsenal including malware, viruses, trojans, weaponized “zero day” exploits, malware remote control systems capable of hacking intoApple’s iPhone, Google’s Android, Microsoft’s Windows and even Samsung TVs, which can be turned into covert microphones, according to WikiLeaks.
“The CIA had created, in effect, its ‘own NSA’ with even less accountability and without publicly answering the question as to whether such a massive budgetary spend on duplicating the capacities of a rival agency could be justified,” WikiLeaks said in a statement.
The “increasing sophistication of surveillance” allows the CIA to turn internet-connected devices like TVs into bugs to covertly record and store conversations.As of October 2014 the CIA was also looking at infecting the vehicle control systems used by modern cars and trucks, according to WikiLeaks, who said while no purposed was articulated, “it would permit the CIA to engage in nearly undetectable assassinations.”
This is the first in an expected series of leaks, according to a statement issued by WikiLeaks.
The organization, which focuses on releasing information to stop secrecy in government, claims the CIA “lost control” of its massive hacking arsenal, which it has been building in secret since 2001.
The authenticity of the trove of documents could not immediately be determined.
“We do not comment on the authenticity or content of purported intelligence documents,”a CIA spokesman told the Washington Post.
But that didn’t stop paranoid reactions on Twitter.
— April Dalaman (@AprilDalaman) March 7, 2017
— Anthony Einzig (@AnthonyEinzig) March 7, 2017
WikiLeaks said the sheer volume of content “already eclipses the total number of pages published over the first three years of the Edward Snowden NSA leaks.”
Snowden, who now lives in exile in Russia, is a former CIA employee and goverment contractor who leaked hundreds of NSA documents in 2013 detailing far-reaching surveillance programs around the globe.
Still working through the publication, but what @Wikileaks has here is genuinely a big deal. Looks authentic.
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) March 7, 2017
WikiLeaksclaimsthe material came from “an isolated, high-security network situated inside the CIA’s Center for Cyber Intelligence in Langley, Virginia.” The anti-secrecy organization did not say who leaked the documents to them.
WikiLeaks said its sourcebrought up policy questions they say urgently need to be debated in public, including whether the CIA’s hacking capabilities exceed its mandated powers and the problem of public oversight of the agency.
“The source wishes to initiate a public debate about the security, creation, use, proliferation and democratic control of cyberweapons,” WikiLeaks’statement said.