WikiLeaks Releases Alleged CIA Hacking Secrets

When reached by phone for comment, CIA spokesperson Heather Fritz Horniack said that the agency "will not comment on the authenticity or the purported claims" found in the documents. WikiLeaks said it published the release as soon as possible.

The website said the documents show the Central Intelligence Agency has produced more than 1,000 malware systems, viruses, trojans, and other software that can infiltrate and take control of target electronics.

The trove was circulated among USA government contractors, WikiLeaks said, one of whom provided it to the organization.

CIA spokesman Jonathan Liu said the intelligence agency did "not comment on the authenticity or content of purported intelligence documents". It also details how PCs are hacked.

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The dump includes documents dated from 2013 through a year ago and details a wide variety of cybersurveillance and hacking programs.

Joshua Foust, a National Security Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, noted as early as early as 2013 in "War is Boring", that Wikileaks had stark connections to Russian intelligence agencies. The source said if the leaks are genuine, they would provide a "blueprint" of United States surveillance, and would be far more damaging than Snowden's leaks.

Among the explosive claims made in the documents are that the CIA, in partnership with other USA and foreign intelligence agencies, has been able to break the encryption on popular messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Telegram and Signal.

Missing from WikiLeaks' trove are the actual hacking tools themselves, some of which were developed by government hackers while others were purchased from outsiders. WikiLeaks said the data also include details on the agency's efforts to subvert American software products and smartphones, including Apple's iPhone, Google's Android and Microsoft Windows.

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It was not immediately clear how WikiLeaks obtained the information, which included more than 8,700 documents and files.

Wikileaks took the step of making edits to the documents, to ensure that it is not putting out any "armed" cyber weapons "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 press release added that the agency focuses on several other platforms too, including attacking Samsung TVs that are turned into covert microphones.

The leaked documents show that the government has "deliberately maintained vulnerabilities in the most common devices used by hundreds of millions of people", Ben Wizner, director of the ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project, said in a statement.

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"Vault 7" alleges that in 2014 the agency looked into "infecting the vehicle control systems used by modern cars and trucks", allowing it to "engage in almost undetectable assassinations".

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