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CIA is spying you with your most loved iPhone and other gadgets


If you use Smart devices like your smartphone, smart TV, Smart fridge, etc then this news is for you. As per the recent report published by WikiLeaks, you are being monitored through your smart devices.





In the report, WikiLeaks detailing how the CIA has allegedly stockpiled a plethora of tools to hack a variety of everyday devices – from phones to televisions to cars – is a stark reminder about the fragile state of Internet security. The US government has amassed extraordinary hacking powers largely in secret – and this leak might just force us to grapple with whether we are comfortable with that.

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) knew about flaws in software made by Apple, Google and Samsung and others, but did not tell the companies about them because it wanted to use them for spying, anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks says.

WikiLeaks has released 8761 documents dating from 2013 to 2016 from an “isolated, high-security network” in the CIA’s suburban Washington headquarters which detail how it can take control of mobile phones, computer operating systems, and even smart televisions to spy on targets.

WikiLeaks claimed the secret files were its “largest ever” publication of confidential CIA material which exposes hacking tools the US government employs to tap into private computers, mobile phones, and smart TVs.





The documents have revealed the scope of the Centre for Cyber Intelligence’s cyber-espionage toolkit, including its capability to use private devices such as Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Android, Microsoft’s Windows and Samsung TVs as covert microphones.

The WikiLeaks report stated that the whistleblower had called for “urgent” public debate about 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 cyber weapons,” the report stated.

For years, civil society groups have been calling on US intelligence agencies to disclose these vulnerabilities to tech companies instead of hoarding them in secret. Intelligence agencies should help make the everyday devices we rely on safer, rather than less secure.

The government has claimed that they run the vulnerabilities they know about through an interagency “equity process” to determine whether they should disclose and help fix them. But the surprising number of exploits in the WikiLeaks release suggests this process is either woefully inadequate or largely only exists on paper.

Undoubtedly, there will be a heated debate over WikiLeaks and the value of having these documents on the public record for the days and weeks to come – as any publication by WikiLeaks inevitably does. But whether Trump administration officials like it or not, the hacking powers of our government is a vital topic that needs much more public debate, and this latest release may end up fueling it.

So, before we conclude let's have a look on the two big question you might have in your mind.

ARE THESE LEGITIMATE CIA DOCUMENTS?





A spokesman for the CIA said the agency would not comment ”on the authenticity or content of purported intelligence documents.” Trump administration spokesman Sean Spicer declined to comment as well. But WikiLeaks has a long track record of assembling and releasing secret files from the U.S. and other governments. Security experts who reviewed the material said the documents appeared to be authentic. Jake Williams, a security expert with Georgia-based Rendition Infosec, who has dealt previously with government hackers, said that frequent references in the files to operation security gave them the stamp of legitimacy.” It rings true to me,” Williams said.

WHAT DO THESE DOCUMENTS CONTAIN?

The files describe CIA plans and descriptions of malware and other tools that could be used to hack into some of the world’s most popular technology platforms. The documents showed that the developers aimed to be able to inject these tools into targeted computers without the owners’ awareness.

The files do not describe who the prospective targets might be, but the documents show broad exchanges of tools and information between the CIA and National Security Agency and other federal intelligence agencies, as well as intelligence services of close allies Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.





The purported CIA documents range from complicated computer coding to organizational plans to sarcastic comments about the tools’ effectiveness. Some of the tools were named after alcohol references, including Bartender, Wild Turkey, and Margarita. Others referenced recent popular movies, including “Fight Club” and “Talladega Nights.” One hacking tool, code-named “RickyBobby,” after the character who is a race car driver in “Talladega Nights,” was purportedly used to upload and download information ”without detection as malicious software.”

The documents also include discussions about compromising some internet-connected televisions to turn them into listening posts. One document discusses hacking vehicle systems, appearing to indicate the CIA’s interest in hacking recent-model cars with sophisticated on-board computer systems.


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