Published: Fri, March 10, 2017
Sci-tech | By Jackie Newman

Tech firms to get Wikileaks CIA files first

Tech firms to get Wikileaks CIA files first

A number of news outlets reported that the documents revealed that Signal, WhatsApp, and other messaging apps that use high-level encryption to ensure that messages are sent and received safely had been compromised.

On Tuesday, WikiLeaks published what amounts to the biggest trove of leaked documents in the CIA's history.

The FBI is now frantically hunting for the "mole" who disclosed the information to WikiLeaks, which has said more revelations are coming.

WikiLeaks' publication of the documents reignited a debate about whether U.S. intelligence agencies should hold on to serious cyber security vulnerabilities rather than share them with the public.

Samsung offered a similar statement, emphasizing that "protecting consumers' privacy and the security of our devices is a top priority", and promised that the claims would be investigated.

"We urge the USA side to stop listening in, monitoring, stealing secrets and internet hacking against China and other countries". In spite of Wikileaks' claims, it is only a small fraction of the CIA's total arsenal.

Most of the documents in the WikiLeaks release comprise technical instructions on how to perform a variety of tasks, from pirating copies of Windows 8 to turning a Samsung smart TV into a listening device.

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Commenting on the leak, WikiLeaks co-editor Julian Assange - whose press conference on Tuesday was reportedly hacked - said the cache showed the "extreme proliferation risk in the development of cyber weapons".

In a January interview with Fox News, Assange said, "We can say - we have said repeatedly - over the last two months that our source is not the Russian government and it is not a state party".

"'Year Zero" introduces the scope and direction of the CIA's global covert hacking program, its malware arsenal and dozens of "zero day' weaponized exploits against a wide range of US and European company products, include Apple's iPhone, Google's Android and Microsoft's Windows and even Samsung TVs, which are turned into covert microphones", WikiLeaks wrote.

Among the other exploits mentioned in this dump is the allegation that Samsung TVs were being used as spying devices through their inbuilt microphones.

In Britain, both MI5 and GCHQ were dragged into the row as files showed how they apparently held workshops with the Central Intelligence Agency to find ways to "hack" household devices.

While the agency did not confirm the documents are authentic, Google and Apple's response indicate that the software exploits and critical security vulnerabilities that the documents refer to are definitely real.

The CIA hasn't denied the claims, its spokesman Jonathan Liu saying in an emailed statements "we do not comment on the authenticity or content of purported intelligence documents".

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