How the CIA watched over the whole world

How the CIA watched over the whole world

The organization WikiLeaks on Tuesday, March 7, began to publish leaks from the Central intelligence Agency (CIA) under the code Vault 7 (“box 7”). “The first complete part of a series called Year Zero includes 8761 document from an isolated network with a high degree of protection, which is in the Center kiberrazvedki of the CIA in Langley (Virginia),” — said in a statement, WikiLeaks. The organization founded by Julian Assange, pointed out that only published 1% from the received amount of data.

Intelligence agencies are investigating

The Federal Bureau of investigation (FBI) and Central intelligence Agency (CIA) on Tuesday, March 7, began a criminal investigation after the publication of confidential documents on the WikiLeaks website. US Federal authorities plan to question everyone who had access to information — several hundred former and current CIA agents, reports Vice News. The investigation establishes how the documents were made available to WikiLeaks and who they were sent — the staff members of the CIA or contractors.

The next day after the publication the White house said that US President Donald trump was “extremely concerned” over the security breach of the CIA. Press Secretary of the White House Sean Spicer said that “anyone involved in leaking classified information, will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.” However, the CIA never confirmed the authenticity of the WikiLeaks documents allegedly prepared by the Center for cybernetic intelligence of the CIA and mainly dated 2013-2016 years. “We do not comment on the authenticity or content of the alleged intelligence documents,” reports The New York Times a statement of the official representative of the CIA, Dean Boyd. Published in the CIA statement said that “the American public should be deeply concerned about any “disclosure” by Wikileaks to damage the ability of the intellectual community to protect America from terrorists and other enemies.” Official sources told CNN that published until now, the documents are largely genuine, but while it is impossible to say whether the published material is genuine and has undergone any part of the documents to any changes.

Donald trump during a speech at the headquarters of the CIA. 21 Jan 2017

Photo: Carlos Barria / Reuters

WikiLeaks did not disclose the source of the transferred materials, but noted that the documents “unauthorized rotated among former us government hackers and contractors, one of which provided WikiLeaks archive parts”. The representative of the intelligence service said on condition of anonymity to The New York Times that investigators believe that the leak of classified material, most of which is technical documentation that could occur outside of the CIA, with servers managed by the contracted worker. But this does not exclude that this can be for staff members of the CIA, he added. In turn, Reuters sources claim that investigators are sure that visiting CIA officers involved in the dissemination of the intelligence — U.S. intelligence agencies are aware of these violations since the end of last year, say Agency sources.

Opponents to be armed

Press Secretary of the CIA, Ryan Trapani said that this type of disclosure is arming the enemies of the United States with the tools and information that can be used to harm the country. He also noted that the CIA engaged in surveillance of individuals in the United States, as it is legally prohibited in the country.

A member of the house of representatives of the Congress of the US Democratic party Ted Liu has called for an investigation in Congress about how the data was stolen, and about the involvement of us intelligence to the withholding of information from manufacturers about the vulnerabilities of consumer software. “If these documents are authentic, which means that a cyber Arsenal, the CIA is now in the public domain, and who knows who now has access to some very Intrusive tools for hacking,” Liu told the British Guardian newspaper.

James Lewis, a cybersecurity expert at the Center for strategic and international studies in Washington, inclined to think that the flow of information can stand of a foreign country, likely Russia, which broke into the server, and then delivered the documents WikiLeaks, which employees may not know how these materials were obtained. Lewis noted that, according to U.S. intelligence officials, Russia during the presidential campaign in the United States hacked into the resources of the Democratic party and gave WikiLeaks a few thousand emails for publication.

As noted by The New York Times, in contrast to published in 2013 by Edward Snowden of documents revealing the activities of the national security Agency U.S. (NSA), the new materials do not contain specific examples of how the hacker development of CIA was used against a specific foreign objects, which can reduce the damage to the national security of the country.

As the CIA watches over the world

WikiLeaks States that at the end of 2016 in a special division of the CIA, which is engaged in computer hacking and software development, there were more than 5 thousand employees. They have created over thousands of tools for computer break-ins: the usual viruses, Trojans (a type of virus that embeds itself in the victim’s computer and gives malicious users remote control over it, for example, to data theft) and other means of hacking. In addition, the CIA specialists are developing systems that exploit vulnerabilities and bugs in programs, operating systems and services. As WikiLeaks says, by 2016, the hackers used a total of more programs (lines of code) than uses Facebook.

According to data published by WikiLeaks on March 9, 2017 the most detailed information about the vulnerability of the TVs are only in respect of Samsung products that support Smart TV. However, the technology of Smart TV from different manufacturers implemented similar, which can be vulnerable to other brands. The experts of the CIA hacked the Samsung TV together with experts from MI5 in the UK, says WikiLeaks. The virus, dubbed “the Weeping angel” (Weeping Angel), creating the effect of turning off the TV when its owner pressed the appropriate button, but the device continued to work with the included microphone. Users believed that they were protected by turning off the TV, but intelligence agencies have collected information. If the TV was connected to the Internet (which is typical for Smart TV), voice data is sent to servers of the CIA.

Laid out according to WikiLeaks documents the CIA from 23 October 2014, special services were interested in the possibility of hacking and interception control computer controlled cars. Such vehicles include not only those that have the functionality of the autopilot or cruise control (which is mostly expensive models not older than two to three years), but those machines that have an electronic control unit and connected to the Internet. WikiLeaks is based on available documents and practices of the intelligence suggested that the CIA may use a tool for killing people, in which it will be impossible to suspect the control itself. For example, it may be an accident, the cause of which will be “sudden” malfunction of the machine or the driver error.

CIA has given special attention to the hacking and disruption of civilian computer security. These tools include programs that can be purchased by ordinary users. In the list of programs includes antivirus software, firewalls and complex security system for computers and smartphones. The members of WikiLeaks believe that in some degree the CIA and their colleagues from related organizations in the U.S. managed to compromise most popular antivirus software, including products of the company Eugene Kaspersky. While WikiLeaks published data it can be concluded that the most vulnerable products “Kaspersky Lab” was the product Kaspersky Internet Security 7 and 8 and Kaspersky Antivirus for Workstations with service pack MP3. One of the pages of the archive website WikiLeaks, is dedicated to “Kaspersky Lab”, while the empty marked SECRET.

From the documents published by WikiLeaks, it becomes clear that hacking mobile devices was for a U.S. intelligence priority. The two most popular operating systems for smartphones and tablets — Android and iOS engaged in a specially formed unit of experts on “hacking”. They studied all the possibilities to compromise devices. Special emphasis special services were doing on Apple devices due to their special popularity among business, creative and diplomatic elites of different countries. WikiLeaks notes that attacks on smartphones running iOS and Android enabled the US intelligence agencies and their contractors, the implementing to access voice and text, even those which were transferred with the help of secured services WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram, Wiebo, Confide and Cloackman. This was made possible thanks to the cracking is not the programs themselves, and the operating systems of mobile devices — government hackers have obtained the data before they are encrypted messengers.

The reaction of the world

On Thursday, foreign Ministry spokesman China Geng Shuang called on Washington “to stop the wiretapping, the surveillance, spying and cyber attacks against China and other countries” (quoted by “Interfax”). Foreign Minister of Germany, Sigmar Gabriel, while in Moscow, said that his country has no information that the CIA uses the US Consulate in Frankfurt-on-main as a hidden headquarters for their staff on cyber attacks, as reported by WikiLeaks. The German government will not allow foreign interference in the formation of public opinion in the country in order to affect the election campaign in Germany, Gabriel said at a press conference following the meeting with the Minister of foreign Affairs of Russia Sergey Lavrov. Lavrov in turn said that Moscow considers the publication of WikiLeaks about the hacker Arsenal of the CIA plausible.