WikiLeaks, on Tuesday, released a thousands of paper files, accusing the CIA of employing software that can breach the android devices, iPhones, smart TVs, and Cars. Alleged CIA document ‘Vault 7’ by WikiLeaks also hints that the agency garners vulnerabilities into Android and iPhones devices and keeps them undisclosed so that they could continue to exploit these devices in future.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, on Thursday, said that his company will obscure further revelations about CIA’s hacking program till the tech giants Apple, Samsung and Google plug the holes and help them to do so.
“We have quite a lot of exploits … that we want to disarm before we think about publishing it,” Assange said at a press conference streamed on Periscope, “We’re going to work with some of these manufacturers to try and get these antidotes out there.”
His press conference was the little twist in the scenario that how our own devices are used by CIA to spy on us. The document indicates that how CIA break through – even the encrypted devices such as Smartphones and computers – by taking command of their operating systems.
To keep the WikiLeaks from falling away into wrong hands, it is being kept undisclosed while the CIA exploits can still be in practice, said Assange. For being poorly guarded, Assange criticized CIA as “losing control of its entire cyber weapons arsenal.”
Waiting to confess, WikiLeaks has much more data about CIA’s cyber weapons program, said Assange.
“This is a historic act of devastating incompetence,” Assange said, “to have created such an arsenal and stored it all in one place and not secured it.”
It’s the CIA’s job to “be innovative” and “cutting edge” with its technology said CIA. However, they did not deny or approved the authenticity of WikiLeaks document. The Agency announce that it would carry on the spying process in the foreign countries to “protect America from terrorists, hostile nation states, and other adversaries.”
The CIA also desire to trace on the messenger.
CIA spokesperson Jonathan Liu, on Thursday, said, “As we’ve said previously, Julian Assange is not exactly a bastion of truth and integrity,”
HURDLES FOR ANDROID AND OTHER DEVICES
Assange said it would take companies two or three days to cope up with vulnerabilities for the smaller exploits. Anyhow, for the exploits on the so-called internet of things like a refrigerator and smart baby monitors, it could take a bit longer.
Samsung said it is “urgently looking” into the CIA exploits which could turn a smart TV into a listening device, as revealed by WikiLeaks documents. Apple has claimed that they have fixed most of the vulnerabilities with their updated iOS version. Microsoft said that CIA alleged tools are familiar to us and that we are “looking into it.”
Google said in a statement that most of the vulnerabilities are already fixed. Yet, the android devices could still be vulnerable even after the makers have added their own custom software.
With different rollout schedules for updates, used by different manufacturers, some of the CIA exploits could be difficult to fix by android users.
“For some systems, like Android with many manufacturers, there is no automatic update to the system. That means that only people who are aware of it can fix it,” Assange said. “Android is significantly more insecure than iOS, but both of them have significant problems.”
WikiLeaks is still looking through a huge pile of documents to unveil in future. The company has redacted more than 78,000 IP addresses, among which more than a quarter come from the USA. According to CIA, they are not spying their own citizens, but WikiLeaks is still inspecting for the 20,000 IP addresses, that how many are from the CIA’s hacking unit and how many are malware victims.
Assange said the CIA’s hacking programs cannot be properly regulated by its design.
“The technology is designed to be unaccountable. It’s designed to be untraceable,” he said.
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About the Author
Zehra Ali is a Tech Reporter and Journalist. She has done her Masters in Mass Communication. Topics related to cybersecurity, IoT, AI, Big Data and other privacy matters are extensively covered by her on various platforms. You can follow her on twitter.More from Zehra Ali
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