In the whirlwind of change and drama that are occurring in the US, a spiking funnel cloud cuts deep into CIA grounds and unearths a plethora of secrets—8,761 documents from the CIA’s Center for Cyber Intelligence in Langley.
While this latest disclosure’s a sprinkle compared to Snowden’s 200,000-page leak, the worst is yet to come. In a press release, WikiLeaks Editor In Chief Julian Assange said this batch represents “the entire hacking capacity of the CIA.” Again, this is just the first storm in a chaos cloud of “Vault 7” leaks.
Assange apparently did some CYA (cover-your-ass) work too, as he ensured Langley had “lost control of its arsenal.” Therein, an entire array of software and correlating tools capable of enslaving operating systems globally. WikiLeaks explained said software would enable the harnesser(s) to seize control of many well-known consumer-electronics products currently on the market. (I.E., your electronics could be turned into secret-recording devices.)
“‘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 stated in a release.
The CIA even crushed encryption on commonly used messaging services including Signal, WhatsApp and Telegram—unimaginable capability used for would-be-seemingly-sinister means. (Yes, this reads like conspiracy theory, but recall the credibility of WikiLeaks when Snowden blew the whistle.)
However, WikiLeaks’s statement specified the actual cyber weapons themselves do not accompany the aforementioned files in question. The whistle-blowing outfit’s not playing enabler in terms of offering “armed” software “until a consensus emerges on the technical and political nature of the CIA’s program and how such ‘weapons’ should analyzed, disarmed and published,” the entity added.
WikiLeaks added the files’ original purpose wasn’t to cause mass hysteria rather generate a discussion on the CIA having too much power or not—that was the intent of the source who availed them.
“In a statement to WikiLeaks, the source details policy questions that 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,” a release read. “The source wishes to initiate a public debate about the security, creation, use, proliferation and democratic control of cyberweapons.”
However, the press release has redacted information—names, locations and targets (open details in the leaked documents). According to Assange, while WikiLeaks provided earlier teasers leading up to this release (e.g., odd messages featuring “YearZero” and “Vault 7”), cyber attacks thwarted their original plans.