WikiLeaks reveals secret Central Intelligence Agency tools used to hack phones, TVs

WikiLeaks reveals secret Central Intelligence Agency tools used to hack phones, TVs

The CIA probably isn't bugging your phone or your smart TV, but its secret tools for hacking into your devices are loose in the wild where con artists can access them - and they could be coming after you with a phishing scam soon, according to the latest document dump from WikiLeaks. There are also details on how the agency sought to subvert USA software products and smartphones, which included the Apple iPhone, Googl'es Android and Microsoft Windows.

Julian Assange and WikiLeaks have released a sprawling new set of documents that appear to detail the CIA's powerful hacking tools - ones that are created to access every app and message on your phone.

We and our colleagues at Consumer Reports are just now beginning to actually review the leaked documents, so there may be more to come out of this data dump.

WikiLeaks has also been accused of aiding covert Russian intelligence efforts to undermine the latest USA presidential election, and came under fire recently for publishing documents without first redacting sensitive information that critics argue is not pertinent to the broader privacy and civil liberties issues at stake.

The agency has special units focused on penetrating iPhone and Android devices.

The CIA also "runs a very substantial effort to infect and control" Microsoft Windows users with its malware, WikiLeaks said.

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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.

Since the release was published earlier today, Edward Snowden has chimed in to say that he was still working through the publication but it is "genuinely a big deal" and "looks authentic". Popular encrypted messaging apps like WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram and Confide would be rendered useless by such an attack.

Wikileaks said that its source had shared the details with it to prompt a debate into whether the CIA's hacking capabilities had exceeded its mandated powers.

Wikileaks said that an archive of malware, viruses, trojans and zero-day exploits had been circulated among former United States government hackers and contractors in an unauthorised manners. Simply put, if you were a nefarious individual working for the Central Intelligence Agency - or a hacker that had breached the network - and you got wind of these tools they could be used with little recourse.

Former CIA operative and whistle-blower Edward Snowden, who is now in exile in Russian Federation, has tweeted that the claims by WikiLeaks were legitimate. But, WikiLeaks said in a press release that this is only the first part of a series, so it's possible this information will be revealed going forward.

Q: How did WikiLeaks get the information?