Wikileaks discloses the CIA hacking arsenal

WikiLeaks released over 8000 pages of confidential documents of the US government dating from 2013 to 2016, that provide detailed description of the CIA ability to hack the phones, computers and smart devices. The leaks, dubbed “Vault 7“, reveal that the CIA was able to compromise the software of all the major vendors, including Apple, Microsoft and Android, as well as those of producers of Internet of Things devices such as Samsung, which confirms the agency is collecting and exploiting vulnerabilities in these systems instead of reporting them to vendors to patch them. CIA was also able to trick the major anti-virus programmes, such as those of Kasersky, BitDifender, AVG and F-Secure, to avoid detection of the intrusion into a system. While the hacking arsenal disclosed could not break the encryption of the most popular communication applications like WhatsApp, Telegram or Signal, the ability to penetrate into the operating system of the users’ phone and access the messages before being encrypted made the encryption irrelevant. The source code of the hacking tools was, however, not publicly disclosed by WikiLeaks but was instead saved until vendors and security companies do further analysis. The documents also reveal that the hacking tools have been exchanged beetween various intelligence services within the US as well as with the partners from Five Eyes (Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom). While the CIA did not comment on the authenticity or content, some sources confirmed to The New York Times that the code names of CIA programmes mentioned in the documents appear to be genuine.