March 7, 2017 In the latest documents released by WikiLeaks on Tuesday — hackers claim to have breached millions of CIA codes, giving them access to essentially all the agency’s files. The documents reveal spy tools the CIA employs to extract information from computers, eavesdrop on conversations and control consumers electronic devices, including Samsung smart TVs.
NPR reports that in a statement accompanying the documents, WikiLeaks alleges the U.S. Central Intellegence Agency (CIA) recently “lost control of the majority of its hacking arsenal,” and that an archive with “several hundred million lines of code” has had been accessed by former government hackers, giving them:
“the entire hacking capacity of the CIA.”
A CIA spokesperson would not comment on the authenticity or content of the WikiLeaks documents, citing policy regerding intelligence documents.
In a press release, WikiLeaks claims a former government hacker or contractor provided only a portion of that code to WikiLeaks, but not the code itself. WikiLeaks says it is “avoiding the distribution of ‘armed’ cyberweapons until a consensus emerges” on how to analyze and disarm such weapons.
What the latest WikiLeaks documents do reveal are tools employed by the CIA designed to extract information from computers, monitor communications and control electronic devices all over the world. Samsung smart TVs have microphones so viewers can make voice commands, but the commands typically aren’t transmitted outside the home unless users activate the feature. Samsung claims if the TV is off, there’s no listening being done. But the WikiLeaks documents, titled Vault 7: CIA Hacking Tools Revealed claim that a spy program called “Weeping Angel” allows the agency to listen even when the smart TVs are powered off. Other products affected include Apple’s iPhones and iPads, Google’s Android phones and Microsoft Windows operating system (desktop and laptops).
The revelations in the latest WikiLeaks documents, if true — are both shocking and disturbing. Not only is the United States primary intelligence agency spying on consumers worldwide–but is careless with the secret information it collects.
Cynthia Hodges holds a M.A. in Political Science from NEIU in Chicago, Illinois and a Post-Grad Professional Certificate in Disaster and Terrorism Management from University of North Carolina -Chapel Hill. In addition to a successful writing career, Cynthia is in the process of writing a book on the role of private security guards as first responders in the post 9/11 America. "My career has been a balance of security and education, and my passion for Homeland Security while protecting individual's Constitutional rights has grown as a result of the two."