Vault 7

Wiki Leaks and The CIA

Central Intelligence Agency (Photo courtesy of Google)

Central Intelligence Agency (Photo courtesy of Google)

Wayne Chan, Photojournalist

Last week, Wiki Leaks released a publication of a new series codified as “Vault-7.” According to Wiki Leaks, “it is the largest publication of confidential documents on the [CIA].” It features a series of government information regarding cyber attacks and methods of cyber attacks in general. Regarding the leak, Kenneth Darmawan (10) said,

“such hacking capabilities seem surreal and scary.”

The leak claimed that by the end of last year, the CIA has developed more than a thousand hacking systems and enough code to surpass what Facebook uses. According to the leak the archive was passed amongst US officials without proper authorization, and one of the officials who came into possession of the information sent into Wiki Leaks.

The first part of this “Vault-7” series is “Year Zero.” It contains 8761 confidential files stolen from a top-secret CIA center for Cyber Intelligence in Langley, Virginia. “Year Zero” reveals that the CIA lost their control over most of their hacking arsenal. They lost hacking tools and methods like malware, viruses, and malware remote control systems. Allegedly, the CIA also has control of weaponized exploits against a number of US and European Technological companies like Google and Apple.

The leak claims that the CIA has the capabilities through the “weeping angel” to turn smart television into essentially a microphone that provides audio information. More incredibly, the results can be duplicated with smart phones. If the leak is true, the government can acquire can remotely hack and control smart phones. The smart phone can then be turned into a ‘spy’ and the camera and microphone can be activated. WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram, and other communication apps are also prone to CIA cyber-attacks. According to the Leak the government also possesses methods of attacks against internet infrastructure, control systems (IOS, OS X, Linux), and Solaris.

The leak also revealed methods regarding capabilities of international cyber attacks. The Cia uses the US consulate in Frankfurt as a clandestine base for hackers covering Europe. Every time the CIA uses a hacking technique it leaves behind a “fingerprint.” To solve this the CIA has illegally gathered a collection of malware and cyber-attack technique created in other nations such as the Russian Confederation. This means that the CIA has the capabilities to manipulate the “fingerprints” of a cyber-attack, which would falsely indicate the origins of an attacker. Essentially the CIA has the capabilities to hack someone while framing another organization, individual, or state as the culprit. Naturally people began to question whether or not the CIA employed these techniques to accuse the Russians of interfering with out election.

Wiki Leaks has promised the continuation of this series beyond “Year Zero” and more information will be published later.