WikiLeaks posts 8,761 documents that seem to detail CIA hacking arsenal and secret cyber weapons.
WikiLeaks has posted classified leaked documents online that it claims shows some of the CIA’s hacking and surveillance techniques. It began posting the leaked material on Tuesday of this week.
The leak, called “Vault 7” by WikiLeaks currently seems to be as significant as the 2010 Iraq and Afghanistan disclosure by Chelsea Manning in 2010, and Edward Snowden’s leak of classified material in relation to the National Security Agency and Britain’s equivalent in 2013. The publication of the “Vault 7” classified documents once again raises questions about US security agencies inability to keep their secret documents secret in the digital age.
Where the new trove of classified material has come from is still a matter of conjecture but WikiLeaks have indicated that the files came from either a current or former CIA contractor. “The archive appears to have been circulated among former U.S. government hackers and contractors in an unauthorized manner, one of whom has provided WikiLeaks with portions of the archive,” said WikiLeaks. Edward Snowden himself tweeted from his exile in Russia that the documents posted so far seem genuine.
WikiLeaks says that it plans to release nearly 9,000 files in total in the coming weeks. The files allegedly describe code developed in secret by the CIA to hack the devices and data from overseas targets, turning ordinary devices including computers, cell phones and Internet of Things (IoT) hardware such as television sets into surveillance tools.
The CIA has refused to either confirm or deny the validity of the WikiLeaks data. “We do not comment on the authenticity or content of purported intelligence documents,” a spokesman said.
The CIA developed cyber weapons are said to include malware that targets all the major operating systems including Windows, Android, iOS, OSX, Linux computers and internet routers.
WikiLeaks has come under increased scrutiny in recent months. U.S. officials currently allege that WikiLeaks has ties to Russian intelligence agencies and directly attempted to influence the recent US elections in favour of Donald Trump.
The website posted thousands of stolen emails from the Democratic Party computer networks during the 2016 presidential campaign. U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that the hacked emails were obtained and then given to WikiLeaks as part of a cyber campaign orchestrated by the Kremlin.